By COLlive reporter
Leaders and members of the Chabad community, and the general Jewish community in London, attended the funeral of Rabbi Nachman Sudak, head of Chabad Lubavitch UK for over 5 decades, on Monday.
The procession left from Lubavitch House in Stamford Hill, the center from which the Head Shliach led the growth and oversaw the activities of what is now a national organization that includes 36 Chabad Houses and 14 schools.
Since his arrival in 1959 as the personal emissary of the Rebbe, he dedicated his life to implementing the movement’s unique outreach ethos, the Jewish Chronicle reported.
Rabbi Sudak “made a contribution of inestimable value to the landscape of Jewish life in the UK,” said Britain’s Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis. “He embodied the highest ideals of Chabbad and leaves behind an outstanding legacy for his wonderful family and numerous others to follow.”
Rabbi Mirvis was in attendance alongside Rabbi Yisroel Yaakov Lichtenstein, Head of the Federation of Synagogues Beis Din in London; Rabbi Yosef Padwa, dayan of the Union of Orthodox Hebrew Congregations (UOHC – Hisachdus Kehilos Hachareidim), Lord Michael Levy and philanthropist David Slager.
Attending were also many rabbis and shluchim from around the country, including Rabbi Yitzchok Meir Hertz, Rosh Yeshiva Lubavitch in Golders Green and Rabbi Shmuel Lew, Head of Education at Chabad Lubavitch UK.
In a statement, former Chief Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks said: “Rabbi Nachman Sudak guided the destiny of Chabad in Britain for more than 50 years, turning it from a marginal presence to one that affected tens of thousands of lives and changed the entire tone of Anglo-Jewry.”
Rabbi Sacks added: “Quiet, thoughtful and introspective, he was a man of passion and principle whose patient leadership was a major factor in the growth of the movement in this country. He was a man I greatly respected and admired, and it was a privilege to know him and be inspired by him.”
Rabbi Sudak’s influence extended beyond England as he served on the board of Agudas Chassidei Chabad, the umbrella organization of Chabad-Lubavitch, to which the Rebbe appointed him in 1991. He also served on the boards of Chabad’s educational and social services arms, Merkos L’Inyonei Chinuch and Machane Israel.
Flying in from the United States was Rabbi Rabbi Abraham Shemtov, Rabbi Sudak’s brother in law and Chairman of Agudas Chassidei Chabad, and his wife Mrs. Batsheva Shemtov, as well as Rabbi Moshe Kotlarsky, Vice Chairman of Merkos L’Inyonei Chinuch.
Also in attendance were many lay leaders and members of the wider Jewish community.
The family will be observing Shivah until Sunday morning at 37 Portland Avenue, London N16 6HD.