For them, Yom Kippur was easy as pie

Shira Schmidt

Shira Leibowitz Schmidt was raised in an assimilated Jewish home in New York, and became observant while studying at Stanford University in California. In June 1967 she told her engineering school professor she would miss the final exam because she was going to Israel to volunteer during the Six Day War. “That’s the most original excuse I have ever been offered,” he responded. She arrived during the war and stayed, receiving her BSc in absentia. She subsequently met and married the late Elhanan Leibowitz, and they raised their six children in Beersheba. Mrs. Leibowitz acquired a Masters in Urban & Regional Planning from the Technion, and an MSc in Civil Engineering from University of Waterloo. Today she lives with her husband, Dr. Baruch Schmidt, in Netanya. She co-authored, with Nobel prize-winning chemist Roald Hoffmann, Old Wine New Flasks. She has co-translated from Hebrew to English (with Jessica Setbon) From the Depths (the autobiography of Rabbi Israel Meir Lau); The Forgotten Memoirs (memoirs of Rabbis who survived the Shoah, edited by Esther Farbstein); and Rest of the Dove (Parashat Hashavua by Rabbi Haim Sabato). She and her husband appear in the documentary film about the Sanz-Klausenberger Rebbe, “Hidden Face.” She is available to lecture in Israel and in the US and can be contacted via

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4 Responses

  1. Saul Mashbaum says:

    Rav Asher Z. Weiss, a prominent disciple of the Sanz-Klausenberg Rebbe and now one of the leading rabbonim in Yerushalayim, also has spoken of the great effort the Rebbe devoted to the encouragement of the heartbroken and dispirited girls and young women in the DP camps, and his efforts to increase their halachic observance. Among elsewhere, I believe he spoke on this subject at an Agudah National convention years ago; his description of the Rebbe’s activities in this area brought some of his audience to tears.

    Saul Mashbaum

  2. Sammy Finkelman says:

    >> What struck me most in researching the DP camps was the effort that the Klausenberger Rebbe expended on rehabilitating the girls, something usual for a chassidic rebbe.


    Q. Should the word there be unusual? Something unusual? Also anyway, can somebody elaborate?

  3. Phil Silverman says:

    For those who have the book “Along the Maggid’s Journey,” by Pesach Krohn, see page 92 for two touching D.P. camp stories of the Klausenberger Rebbe.

  4. L.Oberstein says:

    Those who are surprized that a true tzadik would care about females are victims of false stereotyping . I find the behavior of , for example, Gerrer Chasidim regarding separation of genders, which incluldes no pictures of women , no matter how modestly they are dressed and hardly any mention of female names in Hamodia, unless they are dead to be strange. However, this has nothing to do with not caring about women, it is a matter of tzniyus. There are wonderful Gerrer Bais Yaakovs,etc. It is a cultural difference from Western society and not my way, but I respect their integrity.

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