Rabbi Yosef Itkin, OBM


This past month, the Pittsburgh community experienced a profound loss. Rabbi Yosef Itkin, Pittsburgh’s beloved teacher and mentor for over 40 years, passed away. But Rabbi Itkin was more than simply a teacher and mentor at Yeshiva Schools, he was the living heart of our institution and community. There is no balm to ease the pain of this loss, but Yeshiva Schools is committed to honoring his legacy by dedicating and building in his memory a mikvah at Yeshiva’s new Charles Morris Boys School Campus located at 403 Greenfield Avenue in Pittsburgh’s Greenfield neighborhood.

Since arriving at our community at the Rebbe’s directive in 1981, Rabbi Yosef Itkin worked at Yeshiva Schools of Pittsburgh for four decades. He taught Chassidic philosophy, Talmud and Halacha (Jewish law). But what’s more, he served as a spiritual guide for the students. There was not a single child who went through our school whose soul wasn’t enlivened by his positivity and warmth. He exuded a joy of life and Judaism that lifted up all those with whom he came in contact. We know this not only from the countless stories that have been pouring in from grateful students, but from our own experience. We were honored to teach and administer alongside Rabbi Itkin for so many decades, and we are forever changed for the better by his friendship and love.

Rabbi Itkin epitomized a Chassidishe Ahava, a mindset that understood we are all truly one unified soul. For him, the mikvah was an essential part of his routine, a ritual purification that helped prepare him for a day of prayer and learning and good deeds. Establishing a mikvah in his memory for the students of our Yeshiva is a tribute to the depth and breadth of his life’s work and the legions of lives he uplifted. In addition, in the deepest way, it touches on the essence of his legacy: a simple purity of spirit that drove all his actions. 

Rabbi Itkin’s entire life was dedicated to joyful positive thought and embracing the immediacy of  action, and it is in this spirit that we are embarking on a lightning campaign to raise $250,000.00 toward building the mikvah by the advent of his Shloshim, which will be January 16.  The funds raised will go toward the construction and maintenance of the mikvah, ensuring that it becomes a place of solace and spiritual growth for generations of students who will be learning at the new campus. 

We invite you to be a part of this lightning initiative and contribute to the speedy creation of the Rabbi Itkin Memorial Mikvah. Your swift support can make a significant impact on the realization of this project. Specific donations will be named on a memorial plaque at the following levels of appreciation: 

  1. Acknowledgement- $1,800.00
  2. Thankfulness- $3,600.00 
  3. Special Appreciation- $7,200.00
  4. Heartfelt Gratitude- $9,000.00
  5. Perpetual Tribute- $18,000.00

Of course all donations are welcome, and every dollar counts toward this tremendous mitzvah, which will not only go to honor the memory of Rabbi Itkin but also serve as a lasting testament to our shared values and tradition.

Donations can be made at https://www.yeshivaschools.com/mikvah/ or paid by check to Yeshiva Schools, 2100 Wightman St, Pittsburgh, PA 15217. And please feel free to reach out to us personally for more information. 

Thank you for considering our request, and we look forward to your support in realizing this dream.


With gratitude,

Rabbi Yossi Rosenblum
CEO and Head of School
Yeshiva Schools of Pittsburgh

Rabbi Yisroel Rosenfeld
Head Shaliach, Chabad of Western PA

Contribute to the

Rabbi Itkin Memorial Mikvah

See the plans for the Rabbi Itkin A”H Memorial Mikvah

See the plans for the Rabbi Itkin A”H Memorial Mikvah