Rabbi Gedalia Dov Schwartz
Av Beit Din of the Beit Din of America and of the Chicago Rabbinical Council Beit Din
Mar 20, 2014
Rabbi Gedalia Dov Schwartz, born and raised in Newark, New Jersey is a proud graduate of Yeshiva College and was ordained by the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary of Yeshiva University. Following this ordination, Rabbi Schwartz received a fellowship in the Institute of Advanced Rabbinic Research of Yeshiva University, the original post-semich kollel at RIETS. He is a past president of the Mizrachi of Rhode Island, past president of the Philadelphia Region of the Rabbinical Council of America and coordinator of its Beth Din.
Before coming to Chicago, Rabbi Schwartz was the rabbi of the Young Israel of Boro Park for eighteen and a half years, and had previously held pulpits in Providence, Rhode Island; Englishtown, New Jersey; and Philadelphia. In each pulpit that he held, Rabi Schwartz prominently showcased his Yeshiva College education and his RIETS ordination. Rabbi Schwartz is the first second-generation American rabbi to publish an original halachic work "Divrei Regesh", which received the endorsement of the late Gaon HaRav Aaron Kotler, of blessed memory, as well as the approbation of HaRav Dovid Lifshitz, Rosh Yeshiva at Riets and Rov of Suvalk. In 1972, Rabbi Schwartz published a more expansive halachic work, "Migdanos Eliezer", which touches on many aspect of rabbinic learning and also includes practical applications of halacha. Since 1972, he has been a member of the Beth Din of the Rabbinical Council of America and the editor of the RCA Torah Journal 'HaDarom". In 1987, Rabbi Schwartz came to Chicago as the newly elected Av Beth Din of the Chicago Rabbinical Council.
In 1990, Rabbi Schwartz was the recipient of a Doctor of Divinity degree, honoris causa, awarded by Yeshiva University. At the National Convention of the Rabbinical Council of America in June, 1991, Rabbi Schwartz was appointed as the Rosh Beth Din, the Chief Presiding Judge, of the Beth Din of America, the national Beth Din affiliated with the Rabbinical Council of America, which now occupies satellite space at Yeshiva University and serves as a "teaching Beth Din" for students in the Rabbi Norman Lamm Kollel L'Hora'ah (Yadin Yadin) at RIETS.
On October 14, 2007, the Beth Din Chambers of the Chicago Rabbinical Council was renamed in the honor of his twenty years of service he has provided to the Chicago community, a ceremony attended by the presence of Rabbi Shlomo Amar, the previous Chief Sephardic Rabbi of Israel. Two weeks later, a dinner was held in his honor, where Rabbi Schwartz's latest publication, "Shaarei Gedulah", was distributed to those present. It includes a biography of Rabbi Schwartz and a description of his formative years as a student at YU and RIETS, and a selection of Torah lectures, halachic overviews, and historical insights of the beloved Av Beth Din of the Chicago Rabbinical Council.
With the arrival of Rabbi Yona Reiss as the Av Beth Din, Rav Schwartz assume the post of Rosh Beth Din of the Chicago Rabbinical Council..