Biography - Dr. Yechiel Simcha Naiman


Born in Toronto, Canada, in 1935, Yechiel was a 1956 (magna cum laude) Yeshiva University graduate, where he was also a student of the Rav, Rabbi Dr. J. B. Soloveitchik zt"l. He received his Ph.D. in solid state physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1961.

From 1961 until 1982, he was a visiting scientist at the Center for Materials Science and Engineering at MIT in addition to being employed at various companies, where his positions included chief scientist of the defense systems division and manager of laser systems.

From 1982 until 1995, he and his wife Tzivi worked in "incubator"
high-technology start-up companies in such diverse fields as cryogenics, lasers, optics and tissue engineering. The application areas included projects stemming from the military, commercial and medical sectors. In addition, he worked on a number of techno-halachic problems, such as laser scanning of Torah scrolls and automated sensing and sorting of kosher and non-kosher fish for high-speed canning.

In addition to the scientific contributions that Yechiel brought to a project, his expertise also included business and management consulting.
These complementary skills enabled him to excel in introducing companies and their products to the marketplace.
Over the years, he received several technical awards, including Yeshiva University's Bernard Revel award in Arts and Sciences. He also had nearly 100 publications, as well as over a dozen patents.

In parallel with his scientific life, his move to Boston in 1956 enabled him to continue his Torah studies with Rav Soloveitchik zt"l, studies which spanned more than three decades. He was also an active member of Congregation Beth Pinchas, and a close bond was created between Yechiel's family and that of the Bostoner Rebbe, shlit"a.

Yechiel's participation at Shul included helping found the Shabbaton program for college students and giving shiurim, as well as a number of different roles in the High Holiday services. Perhaps, though, the children who grew up around him at Shul remember him best for the love of Torah he instilled in them through his challenging questions on Parshat HaShavua, Shabbat and Yom Tov.