Gedalia Grinzaid
25 years old

When Gedaliah Grinzaid moved to Morristown to study at the Rabbinical College of America, he showed up with an entourage of well-wishers. That’s how his roommate Nissen Goldman remembers it. “They told us that we were getting a special person, and that we should treasure him,” Goldman said.

Gedaliah was originally from Vinnitza, a small city in western Ukraine, but moved to the United States when he was 17 to continue his Jewish studies. Rabbi Zalman Dubinsky said he had never come across a student quite like him. "He had this simplicity and sincerity about him that was very uncommon,” Dubinsky said.

Rabbi Boruch Hecht, the yeshiva’s admissions director, said Gedaliah became known for his kindness and generosity toward newcomers. “He would seek out the new students and others who were having a hard time transitioning into yeshivah life and set up study sessions, helping them acclimate,” Hecht said.

The only people that Gedaliah didn’t get to know where his roommates. “I would only see him late in the evening—hours after the official study sessions had ended for the day,” said Goldman. “He would be up early in the morning to begin studying. The only time he was not learning was when he was eating or sleeping.”

This collision happened on February 23, 2014 near Kingston Avenue and Carroll Street in Brooklyn. See details in the Mean Streets Tracker.

Mean Streets 2014: Who We Lost, How They Lived

Throughout 2014, WNYC tracked the 265 men, women and children killed in traffic crashes in New York City. In addition to reporting the circumstances of their deaths, we looked at who they were in life: mothers, fathers, grandparents, students, recent immigrants and native New Yorkers. To read some of their stories, click on a photograph.