Petira of Rebbitzen Chaya Gurwitz A”H


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candle71.gifWe regret to inform you of the Petira of Rebbitzen Chaya Gurwitz A”H – the husband of Rav Shmuel Chaim Gurwitz Shlita, Dayan on the Bais Yosef Bais Din – at the age of 41 R”L.

She is the daughter of Rav David J. Bliech Shlita, a famous Medical Halacha Posek, and Rosh Yeshiva in Yeshiva University.

She leaves behind her husband and 8 children R”L.

The Levaya took place on Isru Chag (Monday) at 11:30AM in Shomrei Hachomos Chapels (Boro Park).

[NOTE: Due to a technical issue, this info was not able to be posted prior to the Levaya.]

Boruch Dayan HuEmmes….


  1. Yesterday morning I received an email telling me about the levaya of Chaya Gurwitz that would take place at 11:30. I know a Gurwitz family, but I simply could not believe that this was the Mrs. Gurwitz from the family I know. I questioned the person who sent me the email asking his if it was indeed the Gurwitz family that lives not far from me. Sadly, he confirmed that it was indeed Rebbetzin Dr. Chaya Gurwitz, the wife of Rabbi Shmuel Chaim Gurwitz, who is a Dyan in Bais Yosef Novardok. She is the daughter of RIETS Rosh Yeshiva Rabbi Dr. J. David and Judith Bleich.

    Mrs. Gurwitz passed away at the much too young age of 48. She was an accomplished woman with a PhD in Computer Science. The Brooklyn College web site ( ) lists her as

    Chaya Gurwitz
    Department: Computer and Information Science
    Location: 2112b Ingersoll Hall
    Phone: 718-951-5945
    Fax: 718-951-4842


    Ph.D., New York University – 1986 (Computer Science)

    M.S., New York University – 1983 (Computer Science)

    B.S., Brooklyn College – 1981 (Computer and Information Science, Mathematics)

    After this one sees an impressive list of publications in refereed journals and books.

    Mrs. Gurwitz had been sick about 10 years ago, but was in remission. Indeed, it was thought that she was cured. However, about a month ago she again became ill and passed away on Shevii Shel Pesach.

    One of her sons, Yeshaya Yitzchok, often comes to the Hashkama Minyan at the Young Israel of Avenue J on Shabbos morning, where I also daven. He is a very special young man. Added to the sadness of Mrs. Gurwitz’s passing is that as I write this I have in front of me the invitation to his Bar Mitzvah. It is to take place this Shabbos!

  2. The following was sent to me by someone who received my earlier message about Rebbetzen Dr. Gurwitz.

    Hi Dr. Levine,

    I received this from Dr. Aaron Tenenbaum, the CIS Dept. Chair at Brooklyn College. This was sent out to most of the faculty and staff or Brooklyn College

    It is my sad duty to inform the administration of the death of Professor Chaya Gurwitz of CIS last Saturday. Chaya had been ill about 10 years ago but had been in remission, and kept her medical battle private. Unfortunately, the disease returned with particular virulence a few weeks ago, leading to her death on Saturday. She is survived by her husband, her parents, and her eight children, ranging in ages from 10 to 22.

    Chaya was a highly regarded and well-respected member of the CIS faculty, always providing common sense, wisdom and calm in our departmental discussions. She was a friend to all. Her death is a sudden and personal blow to every faculty member in the department, almost none of whom had known of her earlier illness. We had all seen her as vital, positive and productive component of our mission in the quite recent past. We are all in mourning this week.

    On a personal note, I remember her as well from many years ago as a joint Mathematics-CIS major when she was a student at Brooklyn and enrolled in a research seminar that I was mentoring as a young faculty member. One could not have had a better student or research collaborator. She went on to earn her PhD at NYU, and she joined our faculty in 1986.

    A few months ago, before her disease had recurred, Chaya had written me about some praise she and the department received from Michael Anderson about CIS Core assessment. I wrote back to her:

    I’m not at all surprised, Chaya, and it certainly speaks well of what you are accomplishing in that area. In general, I think we have the best-coordinated Core course in the College, due directly to your competency and diligence. It is certainly of benefit to the entire department to have this area so well covered. It is especially impressive given your other responsibilities as an NSF Principal Investigator, in the STAR Program, as a member of our departmental OA Committee, and as a member of the College Core Committee, as well as your recent introduction of the use of robotics in teaching introductory programming to the STAR students. Thanks.

    Indeed, I had recently nominated her for the Tow Teaching Award for her dedication to her students and her ability to get the most from them.

    The loss is too great to bear.