Shalom Reisner
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

It deeply saddens me to be writing of my favorite grade school rabbi, teacher, and mentor in this context. Rabbi Rodal had a monumental impact on my life during 5th grade after-class, the entire 6th grade, and well beyond. He was the first teacher I had that showed me the tangible benefits of hard work and perseverance. I started out the school year with below average grades and finished off the year with straight A’s due to the life lessons he taught me. His class trips were amazing, his jokes made you fall off your chair in laughter, his athleticism was extremely surprising at first, and his knowledge of the scientific world even more so. He brought our class on weekly hikes (quite literally through slag dunes) to the Jewish senior home every shabbos to visit and be a part of davening, we raised money for our class trips that included Six Flags in Ohio, we hatched and raised little ducklings, we went to hockey games, we went to Johnstown to learn about the great flood and attended a Johnstown Chiefs AAA league hockey game there, we went to the park for recess on the reg, we simply had a blast! The entire Pittsburgh community benefited tremendously by having many extra curricular activities due to the work of Rabbi Rodal, including woodworking classes (brand new equipment and facility built for this purpose), motzei shabbos Gym and Swim at Alderdice High School just to name a couple. It is difficult to imagine a world without the bright and shining light that is Rabbi Rodal’s soul. May his memory be a blessing and may his legacy continue through his family, students, and friends.

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