Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

22 Av 5766 - August 16, 2006 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly










Produced and housed by
Shema Yisrael Torah Network
Shema Yisrael Torah Network











Young American SEED Volunteer Drowns Tragically in Australia

by Yated Ne'eman Staff

The levaya of Avinoam Grossman, an 18-year-old yeshiva bochur from Long Island, NY who drowned off the western coast of Australia, was held on Monday 20 Av in Australia. The aron was taken from Perth to Melbourne on the way to be buried in Israel. Hundreds of Melbournians turned out to pay their final respects in front of the Adass Israel Shule. HaRav Opman of Adass Israel and HaRav Binyomin Wurtzburger, the rosh kollel Beth Hatalmud gave hespedim. The aron was scheduled to proceed to Eretz Yisroel where the niftar was to be buried on Har Menuchos on Wednesday.

Avinoam was drowned after being swept to sea in Perth, where he was on a visit teaching Torah. He was standing on rocks on the shore, well above the waves, when an unusually large wave from the heavy seas (estimated at 10 meters high) knocked him into the waters. The seas remained rough with many waves of up to six meters, which hampered rescue efforts. He was last seen about 50 meters south of the rocks on which he had been standing, waving in apparent distress, police said.

His body was found only three days later after a very extensive search by Australian search teams and the US army.

Avinoam Grossman of Cedarhurst, NY. was with a small group of American tourists at Torpedo Rocks, about 186 miles southwest of the Western Australia state capital, Perth, when a wave swept him from the rocks last Tuesday afternoon 14 Av. His body was recovered through a very extensive search and rescue craft on Friday after being spotted by a search helicopter, the Western Australia police said in a statement.

The London Daily Telegraph said earlier this year that the beach area was a favorite surf destination, but its steep slopes and rocky outcrops also make it dangerous. A fisherman was washed off the rocks and killed in 2002.

One of his chaveirim said that he was, "one of the finest people I have ever gotten to know and someone who will be sorely missed. I personally experienced learning with Avinoam and I can tell you firsthand that he was an exceptional person. He was a true masmid, always finding free time to learn." In addition to his learning, his friend said that he was truly a "ba'al middos tovos."

Avinoam had learned in the Yeshiva of Passaic this past year. For five years before that he learned in Darchei Torah of Far Rockaway. He went to Toras Emes Kaminetz in Boro Park for elementary school. He was on a SEED program with some Darchei Torah boys in Perth, Western Australia.

The friends and family were grateful that in the midst of the great distress of the situation, at least his body was recovered so that he was able to be brought to kevuras Yisroel.

The SEED program in which Avinoam z"l was participating is a very demanding effort. The bochurim who participate spend months preparing Torah material to give over to the various members of the community with whom they learn during the period they spend there. The material is from a wide range of sources and includes Chumash, Mishnah, Gemora, as well as halochoh, hashkofoh and general Jewish knowledge. On the program they are busy from early in the morning -- learning with people before they go to work -- until late at night. In the middle of the day, during the business lunch hour, many go to offices to give classes and to learn individually with interested people. They also spend time during the day working with children. Shabbos and weekends are also utilized to allow families to participate in kiruv-related activities.


All material on this site is copyrighted and its use is restricted.
Click here for conditions of use.