Monsey Memories: Rabbi Yechiel Dov Shoham
As we approach Pesach with its unique kashrus needs, we profile a Rov who served in the Spring Valley area and certified soda for Pesach.
Rav Yechiel Dov Shoham became a Rov in Spring Valley in the year 1929, before moving on to Baltimore where he assumed the pulpit of his illustrious father-in-law for a number of decades.
He was born in the year 1898 to Rav Shmuel Yosef Shoham, a Rov in several towns in Lithuania. He learned in the Slabodka yeshiva and later in the elite kibbutz of Rav Itzele Ponovezher. He attained semicha from his rebbeim, Rav Moshe Mordechai Epstein and Rav Baruch Horowitz, one of the masmichim in Slabodka.
In 1926, he married Ettel, the daughter of Rav Yaakov Yosef Markus, a Rov in Lita, and later in Baltimore. Rav Markus was also a Slabodka talmid, as well as a talmid of the Mir, and received semicha from Rav Chaim Brisker and Rav Eliyahu Baruch Kamai of the Mir.
In 1923, the young couple followed Rav Markus to America.
In 1929, Rav Shoham began his rabbinic career in Spring Valley and served there for three years until he was called to Mishkan Yisroel in Baltimore following the passing of his father-in-law. During the 1950’s, he was the rav hamachshir of Royal Crown Cola and other beverages.
He was a prominent member of Agudas Harabanim, and one of Baltimore’s most senior Rabbonim. He was one of the founders of the American office of the Slabodka yeshiva, and was close to Rav Dovid Leibowitz, Rosh Yeshiva of Chofetz Chaim in Williamsburg. Rav Leibowitz printed a notice in the newspaper with his good wishes for his friend upon his new position in Spring Valley.
Aside from his activity in communal matters
Rav Shoham served in the rabbonus of Mishkan Yisroel for over thirty years until his passing in 1978.