Monday, July 17, 2017

R' Kalman Mendelsohn, founder of Mendelsohn's Pizza in Boro Park Passes Away at 65

Reb Kalman Mendelsohn, founder of the famed Mendelsohn's Pizza in Boro Park, Brooklyn, passed away on Shabbos, 21 Tammuz, 5777 in Jerusalem.

He was 65.

Reb Kalman, son of Rabbi Mayer Mendelsohn obm, a Gerrer Chossid from Israel, moved with his family in the late 1950s to the neighborhood of Crown Heights.

Growing up in Crown Heights near the Chabad community, he soon developed a strong connection to the Rebbe and the Lubavitch community. 

He often told of an incident which happened when he was 5 years old, playing on the corner of Kingston Avenue and President Street near Raskin's fruit store. He recalled running into the street to retrieve a ball, directly into oncoming traffic. Suddenly, a hand grabbed his shirt, pulling him to safety. Looking up, he saw that it was the Lubavitcher Rebbe who had saved him, he told.

As a bochur, Reb Kalman learned in the famous Yeshivas Chiddushei Harim, and after his marriage, he founded the famed Mendelsohn's Pizza Dairy Restaurant in Boro Park, Brooklyn, a place for families to be able to enjoy a fresh, nourishing and affordable hot meal in a proper environment. 

The store, known as "the crossroads between Boro Park, Flatbush and Crown Heights," also became a place of Chesed for the entire New York community and beyond. Shiva homes would receive big orders at no charge. Newly-married couples would come to Mendelsohn's during Sheva Brachos for a free delicious lunch as a wedding gift and would also receive Brachos from Reb Kalman.

Anyone traveling from Eretz Yisroel or Europe to seek help in America knew that he could get a fresh hot meal, a warm smile, a listening ear and good advice, at Reb Kalman's restaurant on 18th Avenue, and all at no charge.

The Mendelsohn's home in Boro Park as well, was open to guests at all times. Their Shabbos table often had ten to twenty Yeshiva boys in addition to many others.

Reb Kalman moved to Israel several years ago and would come often to visit his family in New York. Even on his final Shabbos, there were guests in the Mendelsohn home in Jerusalem.

Reb Kalman would often visit the Congregation Ohel Moshe - Chevra Thilim Lubavitch Shul at Lubavitch Yeshiva on Ocean Parkway, where his son Motti serves as the Gabbai. 

He is survived by his wife, Basya and children Motti MendelsohnHeshy MendelsohnMeyer Mendelsohn, Chaya FriedmanDevorah Weinberg and Esther Chana Nussbaum, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

He is also survived by his siblings, Miriam Weber, Rochele Abramowitz, Leah Greenbaum, Menachem Mendelsohn, Yankel Mendelsohn.

The levayah and Kevura took place on Motzei Shabbos in Yerushalayim.

Shiva in New York is at 1809 - 51 Street in Boro Park, Brooklyn NY.

Baruch Dayan Ha'emes.


concerned said...


I seem to remember him telling me that it was his father that opened the pizza shop...

Anonymous said...

yes, his father opened the shop, I remember him

AishKodesh said...

Baruch Dayan HaEmes.

Gershon himel said...

Father yhat was a chashiver rov had initially opened the store

Yossel G. said...

Yes, it was his father who opened the store. I still remember his sister shouting at the top of her lungs, on her way to the back of the shop, "TATTY, ICH MACH FALAFEL BALLS!"
And I remember his father A"H standing there saying, "Move op, move op de line!"
What about Juan, their faithful employee who used to order for us, "five balls and a tehina."
These are the things I grew up with.

Maria said...

In the good old days there was a back room to the store, and chassidishe and yeshivaleit were automatically waved through to sit in the back without "taaruvos."