Dr. Alberto (Avraham ben Moishe) Mechulam, a pillar of the Havana community and “zeide” to the many hundreds of Shluchim; bochurim (and couples) on Shlichus to Havana, Cuba, passed away.
He was just shy of his 81st birthday.
Dr. Mechulam and his wife Rebeca Mechulam have been for many decades important pillars in the Jewish community in Havana and a very close friend and important assistance to the Chabad programs and activities on the island. As they would often like to say “we are (- with our heart and soul -) Chabad chasidim”, with a photo of the Rebbe hanging proudly in there dining room.
The Havana Jewish community, due to the revolution led by the Castro’s (1953 -1959) shrunk from 17,000 strong to a fraction – less than 10% – of those that remained, together with the loss of Jewish infrastructure. It was natural – as a man with a big and warm Jewish heart – together with his dear wife, to be easily identified as a great asset to the community at large and to the Chabad activities in particular.
Hence when the first representatives of the CFCJ arrived in Cuba over 20 years ago, they naturally gravitated and immediately bonded with this special couple. Their home was used as a satellite base of meeting and strategy for the Chabad work in Havana.
The fatherly care that Dr. Mechulam demonstrated over the years – as can be personally testified by the hundreds of groups sent on Shlichus to the island – was indeed exceptional.
Eventually their own – and only – son Moishe joined CFCJ’s Student Placement Program (SPP) and joined the Chabad yeshiva in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Dr. Mechulam will be sorely missed by many.
He survived by his wife Rebeca, his son Moishe, and daughter Esther.
To be menachem avel Rebeca Mechulam
E-mail: [email protected]
Baruch Dayan Ha’emes.