A Memorial marking the shloshim since the passing of Rabbi Yisroel Friedman a”h will be held on Thursday, April 30 at 8pm.
Reb Yisroel was born in the Belarusian city of Beshenkovitz, then part of the Soviet Union, in 1936, to R. Yaakov and Gittel Friedman, prominent members of the Boyan Chassidic dynasty. His father was a direct descendant of Rabbi Dov Ber, the Maggid of Mezritch, who succeeded Rabbi Yisrael Baal Shem Tov as leader of the early Chassidic movement, and their home was steeped in Torah learning and Chassidic fervor, which even the Soviet claws could not touch.
R’ Yisroel’s father was killed by the Soviets and his mother, Gittel Friedman, and her three sons fled to Samarkand, far from the advancing war front. There, they encountered Chabad Chassidim, who had built an elaborate underground network of Torah institutions. Eager to help, the Friedmans hosted an underground Torah class for youngsters in their home, thus becoming forever part and parcel of Chabad.After escaping Russia, Yisroel and his family spent time in Poking, Germany, and in Brunoy, France, where he celebrated his bar mitzvah. From there, they made their way to Israel and settled in Lod. In 1956, the young Yisroel came to study in the court of the Rebbe in NY. His genius and fiery spirit were immediately recognized and widely appreciated. Some years later he accepted a position at Oholei Torah, the flagship Yeshiva of the Chabad-Lubavitch movement, where he served as the senior rosh yeshivah for more than 50 years. Over the years, he became known as the very personification of “a Chassidisher rosh yeshivah.” He was also a member of the Central Committee of Chabad-Lubavitch Rabbis (Vaad Rabonei Lubavitch Haklali).
He taught generations of students, infusing them with a love of Hashem, a love of Torah, and a love for each Jew. He personified deep attachment to the Lubavitcher Rebbe and the Rebbe’s mission; thousands of his students serve as Shluchim throughout the world. Reb Yisroel was only one man– miraculously plucked from the dangers of Soviet Russia –who effectively impacted hundreds of thousands the world over with his combination of keen intellect, deep love, and unparalleled devotion.
The Shloshim program will be addressed by:
Rabbi Avrohom Shemtov Chairman of Agudas Chasidei Chabad, Rabbi Moshe Wolberg Rosh Yeshiva Tomchei Temimim Kfar Chabad, Israel, Rabbi Moshe Shmuel Stern Rosh kollel Strikov, Israel & Cousin of R’ Yisroel, Rabbi Lazer Gurkow Shliach of the Rebbe to London, Ontario.
The program will be highlighted by a Video presentation of carefully curated recollections and stories about Rabbi Friedman.