FREE Mourns the Passing of Rabbi Zalman Shagalov

ith profound sorrow, we mourn the untimely passing of Rabbi Schneur Zalman Halevi Shagalov, of blessed memory.

Reb Zalman was a devoted activist, who committed himself to strengthening Yiddishkeit among all Jews he could reach, in particular our Jewish brethren from the Russian-speaking lands. He dedicated himself to working with these Jews till the very last day of his life, when he made a phone call to ensure that proper preparations had been made for the weekly Shabbos Kiddush at FREE’s Russian Shul.

Soon after FREE was founded in 1969 at the call of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Reb Zalman stepped forward to devote himself to helping Russian immigrants. He worked hard to raise funds, and dealt with many individuals and families on a personal level. He was heavily involved in a wide range of FREE activities, giving daily Torah lessons at its shul, especially to those who have adopted the Torah way of life (recently this group concluded an entire Talmudic tractate!). He was deeply involved in FREE’s Circumcision Program, which recently performed its 13,200 circumcision for Jews of the former Soviet Union!

Reb Zalman was known for his friendly smile and gentle style. His loss is felt not only by his immediate family – to whom we offer our deepest condolences – but also by the wider Jewish community, to many of whom he endeared himself though his devotion to the cause of helping Russian-speaking Jews materially and religiously. May he be a heavenly proponent on behalf of his family, friends and all the Jewish people.

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