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Reb Avrohom Pinter Z"L

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Reb Avrohom Pinter Z"L

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A wave of shock, sorrow and disbelief spread across the kehillah in the U.K. as the news broke of the tragic petirah of Rabbi Avrohom Pinter, z”l, of Stamford Hill, from COVID-19.

Rabbi Pinter was a unique figure. An askan both within and beyond the kehillah, he had friends and acquaintances across the whole kehillah, the broader Anglo-Jewish community, the local community of Hackney, where he was a Councillor for a number of years, and in many other areas of government and politics. For many people in the wider community, he was the face of the chareidi kehillah.

He was the principal of Yesodey Hatorah School, a mossad of which he was deservedly proud, and as such, the mechanech of generations of girls in Stamford Hill. He was also a father figure and mentor to many people who themselves are leaders of organisations and the breadth of the tributes which are pouring in now is a testimony to that. It is rare in the UK for a chassidishe rabbi to be mourned equally by schoolgirls, Rabbanim, the Bishop of London, pillars of the Anglo-Jewish community and the Mayor of London.

Rabbi Pinter was a pillar of advice and support to Hamodia U.K. and will be hugely missed on a personal level. He always had a smile, a story and a vort to share and had the gift of making everyone feel like they were his best friend.

Hamodia UK


Rabbi Pinter z”l was a true giant.  It is a mark of the person he was that when he was nifter there was a cry literally across the whole community.  I don’t think I have ever seen the JC and Jewish News write a front page article about any other orthodox leader in our community and certainly not a chossid from N16.
 
The first time I visited Yesodei Hatorah was whilst I was the Executive Headteacher at Hasmonean.  I had been in discussions with your father and as an exceptional act of chessed I decided to travel all the way to N16 knowing that Hasmonean had nothing to learn from Yesodei Hatorah.  How wrong I was.  The building was incredible and the learning taking place was of the highest standards.  Most impressive was the exceptional leadership from a husband and wife team, or perhaps wife and husband, who gave vision and direction to a school and radiated a genuine love for every student. 
 
Your dear father could not hide his pride, and the highlight, every time I visited was to visit the crèche and see “mein kinder”.
 
I honoured and cherished our friendship and enjoyed working with and learning from your father.  He was a master statesman and built bridges with everyone he met.  He had a smile for everyone and joke to light up the room.  But under all the trappings there was a will of steel, determined to protect yiddishkeit and enable our children to learn Torah without compromise.  So many time I saw him argue and fight for our rights, at every level, with deeply thought out and considered arguments.  He built relationships with everyone and was not scared to use them when needed.
 
The past few years and the challenges with Ofsted were exceptionally painful. Sadly they took their toll - however I have no doubt that he will be reaping the benefits of their baseless attacks in the olam ha'emmes. 
 
It is perhaps fitting that the last time I saw your father was in Buckingham Palace.  Whilst we were all admiring the grandeur he was there speaking to priests and clerics and as always making connections and building relationships. 
 
Your father, my friend, our leader, was an exceptional man.  He reflected a true love of Torah and manifest it in his daily life reflecting the importance of both bein odom l’makom and bein odom l’chaveiro.  He earned a special place in our hearts and will be greatly missed by us all. 

המקום ינחם אתכם בתוך שאר אבלי ציון וירושלים


Politicians and community leaders pay tribute to Stamford Hill rabbi, calling him 'an undoubted leader of exceptional talent and a strong advocate for his community'

Rabbi Avrohom Pinter - one of the most influential and respected figures from within Stamford Hill's Strictly Orthodox community - has died after contracting coronavirus.

The JC understands that Rabbi Pinter was admitted to a central London hospital before Pesach last week after feeling unwell and died on Monday.

Tributes poured in for the much-loved rabbi both from within the Jewish community and from further afield.

Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis wrote: "I was deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Rabbi Avraham Pinter z”l.

"Rabbi Pinter was known to many as a tireless representative of the Jewish community in Stamford Hill, as a local councillor and as the Principal of Yesoday Hatorah Girls’ School.

"I will remember him as an eved Hashem with a kind heart and an unwavering commitment to his community. His loss will be widely felt across Anglo Jewry and beyond. Yehi zichro baruch."

Shlomo Sinitsky, chairman of Kedassia, one of the Charedi community’s leading laymen, said, “For some 40 years Rabbi Abraham Pinter was the face and voice of our Charedi community. His wisdom and wit will be missed by us all.

“Never one for compromise, he lived by the motto that ‘a thousand friends is too few and a single enemy, too many.’ Our community is grieving alongside his dear family and Klal Yisroel.”

Rabbi Herschel Gluck, one of Rabbi Pinter's closest friends in Stamford Hill, wrote: "I would like to thank all those that said Tehillim for Rabbi Avrohom Pinter of blessed memory. This will certainly stand in good stead for his Soul, and for all of us that must try to continue his good work.

"May His Soul be Bound in the Eternal Bond of Life."

Board of Deputies President Marie van der Zyl said: "Rabbi Pinter was a much loved figure across the community, building bridges between different groups of Jews, Government & wider UK society...

"He will be deeply missed by all of us who had the privilege to know him."

In a joint statement, the Jewish Leadership Council's Simon Johnson and Jonathan Goldstein said Rabbi Pinter "was an undoubted leader of exceptional talent and a strong advocate for his community with a broad sympathy for and understanding of the needs of Jews from across religious observance.

"He was respected by politicians and by all across our community. Baruch Dayan Emes. Rabbi Pinter's memory will endure and we pray that his family may be comforted among the mourners for Zion and Jerusalem."

Michael Goldstein, President of the United Synagogue said he was "devastated to learn of the death of our dear friend Rabbi Pinter.''

Respected both for the depth of his religious knowledge and his willingness to offer advice and help to people of all faiths, Rabbi Pinter had a unique ability to bridge between Charedi and mainstream communal worlds.

He had represented Charedi interests on the London Jewish Forum, while in his role as principal of the Yesodey Hatorah Senior Girls' School he received praise and also dealt ably with criticism.

His influence in the political sphere was also apparent by the messages of sympathy written on Monday evening after his passing.

Lord John Mann, an advisor to the Government on antisemitism, said: "I worked for 15 years with Rabbi Pinter - he became a trusted ally and friend as well as a major community leader. 

"His advice and perspective has always been significant. His warmth and smile has been a comfort to so many of us."

A long-time member of the Labour Party, despite his criticism of Jeremy Corbyn during his leadership of the party, Rabbi Pinter received immediate tributes from his local Labour MP Diane Abbott, the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan and shadow cabinet minister David Lammy.

Mr Khan said Rabbi Pinter "did so much to help community relations in London and will be missed by so many".

Ms Abbott, a former shadow home secretary, said: "Giant of community politics passed away today, Rabbi Abraham Pinter.

"I knew him for over thirty years. He had so much to be proud of: his beautiful family; his work amongst the people and above all the Yesodey Hatorah School. He will be mourned by all."

Shadow Justice Secretary Mr Lammy added: "A true leader of the Charedi Orthodox Community in Stamford hill, he was clever, erudite and inclusive. This is a huge loss. I will miss his counsel and good humour immensely."

Ian Sharer, a former Liberal Democrat councillor in Hackney and member of the Charedi community, said, "In his position, there was sometimes controveresy in what he was doing. But he never held it against anyone who opposed him and I never heard him speak badly of anyone. He was always smiling at people."

Theo Bibelman, chairman of Yesoday Haorah Senior girls said: “It is only now slowly dawning on all of us the tremendous loss we have sustained with the passing of Rabbi Avrohom Pinter.

"Our principal, driver and inspiration; a giant amongst us, an outstanding leader upon whom we could always rely and count on, is no longer with us.

His influence, far beyond our own school and community was legendary and it is due to his efforts that heimische chinuch [education] in this country is strong and thriving. Rabbi Pinter is irreplaceable and it will be difficult for the heimische kehillo [community] to bear this tremendous loss which will be felt throughout Klal Yisroel.”

Rabbi Pinter's family has asked all messages of condolence be sent to familypinteruk@gmail.com

 

If you have any memories or tributes you would like to share with us, please email them to us so we can include them. May we only share simchas in our Kehilla.

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