Rabbi Avraham Yaakov Hakohen Pam

Rabbi Avraham Yaakov ben Meir Hakohen Pam (Vidz, Lithuania 1913 – Brooklyn NY 2001) was the rosh yeshiva of Yeshiva Torah Vodaas in Brooklyn, New York.

Rabbi Pam related how his father Meir, was a diligent torah scholar who pressed himself in his studies to the point of fatigue, upon dozing off he would return to his studies immediately upon waking.

Rabbi Avraham Yaakov HaKohen Pam

Rabbi Avraham Yaakov HaKohen Pam

At just 11 years old, his parents sent him away to a yeshiva in Slabodka, where he became a frequent Shabbos guest of Rabbi Yaakov Kamenetzky. It was a relationship that carried on for many years as Rabbi Kamenetzky became Rosh Yeshiva in Torah Vodaath.

Rav Pam was appointed maggid shiur (Talmudic lecturer)  at Yeshiva Torah Vodaas in 1938, During his sixty-plus years at Torah Vodaas he delivered many shiurim as well as the semicha class to students studying toward rabbinic ordination.

Rav Pam’s dress was unassuming; he preferred short jackets and Fedora hats to the more traditional long frock coat and Homburg hat generally worn by heads of Yeshivas. While he was respected as a great talmudic scholar within Yeshiva circles, he was widely admired for his humility and soft-spoken style.

Rav Pam was a vocal supporter of yeshiva education for non-religious Russian immigrants to Israel through the work of his organization called Shuvu. At the keynote session of the annual 1990 Agudath Israel convention Rav Pam spoke passionately about the flood of new Jewish emigrants from the Soviet Union, and his concern that their children were growing up oblivious to their religious heritage. He argued that a network of schools should be set up in Israel for those emigrants, and organized a meeting of wealthy and influential participants at the convention to facilitate that vision.

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