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Founding Member of the UK Lubavitch Community Passes Away

Tuesday, 21 September, 2010 - 9:55 am

schrtroks.jpgThe UK Lubavitch community is mourning one of its founding members, Rabbi Ovadiah Schtroks, who passed away last week. He is survived by his wife and children, many of whom are Chabad emissaries around the world.

Born in Uman, now in modern-day Ukraine, to Rabbi Nachman Zeev Schtroks, Rabbi Ovadiah Schrtroks studied in the Lubavitch yeshiva in Kremenchug. He left Russia after the war as a refugee, travelling through Europe to Paris. He came to London in the 1950s having worked as a shochet (kosher slaughterer) in Dublin, Ireland.

As one of the founders of the Lubavitch community in London, Rabbi Schtroks was tireless in taking on many communal responsibilities such as fundraising, teaching and serving as chazzan on High Holidays.

In a letter dated 25 Tevet 5720 (1960) the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Menachem Mendel Schneerson of blessed memory, encouraged him in his endeavours, saying “nothing should stand in your way.”

“He carried out his work day to day in the most devoted and special way, not for money, but to help others. Such people you don’t see anymore,” said Rabbi Nachman Sudak OBE, head emissary to the United Kingdom.

Many will remember Rabbi Schtroks for the unique way in which he taught hundreds of boys the alef-beis and how to read Hebrew at the Lubavitch Boys School in Stamford Hill - an activity which he continute until recently.

“I had the privilege amongst hundreds of others to be taught alef beis by Rabbi Schtrocks,” said one former pupil. “He taught using the really old fashioned method. We all learned how to read fluently.”

He is survived by his wife Musia, sons Rabbis Yosef Yitzchok (London, England), Avrohom Yeshayah (Morristown, NJ), Nochum (Crown Heights), Yonason Falik (Surrey, BC) Mendel (Cologne, Germany) and daughters Mrs. Bluma Perl (Long Island, NY) Mrs. Fruma Weg (Crown Heights) Mrs. Sheindel Levertov (Crown Heights) and Mrs. Nechama Dina Reinitz (Crown
Heights).

He is also survived by his siblings Mr. Sholom Schtroks (London, England), Mrs. Rochel Hershkovich (Holon, Israel/Chicago, IL) and Ita (Israel).

 

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