As World War II raged in Europe, annihilating the physical and spiritual body of Jews and Judaism, a small remnant of rabbinic leaders escaped and began immediately to build yeshivahs in Israel and in the United States. Such a yeshivah was begun in 1942 in Detroit by Rabbi Moshe Rothenburg and named Chachmei Lublin after the famous school of Rabbi Meyer Shapero in Lublin, Poland. At its peak, in the early years, the school had over a hundred students, many from cities other than Detrot. Rabbi Rothenburg, with the strong support of Detroit resident Meilach Lifschutz, adopted the Hasidic style of study, that is, they opted for breadth of knowledge over the Lithuanian tradition of depth and careful inquiry. In the first years after the war, the school provided a sort of gathering place for a number of yeshivah educated men who had escaped the Holocaust and were trying to rebuild their lives in America. Most moved on after a short stay; a few settled permanently in Detroit. Internal problems undermined the school, and by the early 1950s, many of its teachers had left and its student population declined.
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