Malka Kalmanowitz passed away on April 14 during the final days of Passover.

As a young child growing up in the former Soviet Union, young Malka felt the crushing heel of Communist suppression of religious expression, her father persecuted for teaching and disseminating Torah.

After escaping the NKVD with various short stints in towns and cities across Russia, the family fled to the United States in the 1930s and lived a simple life in New York, deeply steeped in the traditions of their old life. This idealistic upbringing perfectly prepared her for her eventual marriage to Rabbi Sharga Moshe Kalamanowitz, the son of the legendary dean of the Mir yeshivah in Brooklyn, N.Y., Rabbi Avraham Kalmanowitz.

The young couple began their married life in a bungalow community in Upstate New York, where young scholars and their families lived with only the bare essentials, completely dedicated to their studies. Kalmanowitz sacrificed her own possible career opportunities to allow her husband to thrive in his studies.

When her father-in-law passed away in 1964, her husband was appointed to co-lead the Mir yeshivah, a position he held for the rest of his life.

As recognition of her husband’s scholarship spread far and wide, Kalmanowitz humbly refused to be honored or placed on a pedestal, and instead worked as a bookkeeper in Manhattan to help support her family. When a local job was offered to save her the inconvenience of the daily commute, Kalmanowitz politely declined, saying that she didn’t want to work in a place where she would be given preferential treatment.

Her home was a bastion of Torah values. She could often be seen saying Tehillim (Psalms) or preparing for Shabbat, and she would support her husband in his leadership role, assisting and offering him advice.

Predeceased by her husband and two daughters, Kalmanowitz is survived by seven children.

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