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Yechiel Michel Charlop

CHARLOP, YECHIEL MICHEL (1889–1974), Orthodox rabbi. Charlop was born in Jerusalem. His father, Rabbi Ya'akov Moshe, was a close associate and disciple of Rabbi Abraham Isaac *Kook, chief rabbi of Palestine. Yechiel Michel studied in Jerusalem at the yeshivot Eẓ Ḥayyim and Torat Ḥayyim. At 18, he became the youngest student ever in the Yeshivah le-Meẓuyanim, a Talmud studies program at Ohel Moshe. Rabbi Isaac Jeroham Diskin, considered one of the greatest Talmud scholars of the era, handpicked Charlop to lecture in the yeshivah. As someone mentored by the leading rabbis in Jerusalem, the younger Charlop became a close family friend of Rabbi Diskin and Rabbi Kook.

The rabbi arrived in New York in 1920 and was ordained at the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary. In 1930, he received additional ordination from Rabbi Kook. For a time Charlop became a pulpit rabbi at Cong. Anshei Volozhin in New York. In 1922 he moved to Canton, Ohio, where he established a Talmud Torah, and from 1923 to 1925 he served as a pulpit rabbi in Omaha, Nebraska.

In 1925, Charlop returned to New York and became the rabbi at the Bronx Jewish Center, one of the largest synagogues in the borough. He was a founder of the alumni association at RIETS, a founder of the Bronx Va'ad Harabbonim and first president and founder of the Rabbinical Council, the organization that became the *Rabbinical Council of America. He was honorary president of the Agudat Harabbonim for more than 20 years, and was instrumental in establishing kashrut supervision at the *Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations in America.

During the Holocaust, Charlop was an outspoken leader who helped organize the Rabbis' March on Washington to protest the Allies' lack of action on behalf of the Jews. As an ardent Zionist, he raised funds for the Bikkur Ḥolim Hospital, the General Orphans' Home for Girls, and three yeshivot in Jerusalem: Eẓ Ḥayyim, Torat Ḥayyim and Ḥayyei Olam. His closest involvement was with Yeshiva Beit Zevul, the kolel his father established in Jerusalem. When his father died in 1953, Charlop was asked to take his place in Jerusalem, but chose to remain in New York. In his later years, he broadcast a weekly radio program on the Torah chapter of the week.


New York Times (Oct., 29, 30, 1974), 40, 48; M. Sherman, Orthodox Judaism in America: A Biographical Dictionary and Sourcebook (1996), 45–46; Tiktin Collection, S.V. Charlop, Yechiel Michel, YIVO Archives, New York.

Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2007 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.