By COLlive reporter
Photos by Alex Gorokhov
Long-time Chabad Shlucha Rebbetzin Shula Kazen spoke about living a Jewish observant life under Soviet rule at a farbrengen at the Ohel Sarah School in Flatbush this past Motzoei Shabbos.
Organized by the school’s heads Rabbi Shneuer Zalman and Sarah Mendelson, the Melave Malka evening marked Yud Shvat, the day the Rebbe accepted the leadership of Chabad-Lubavitch.
The crowd listened attentively as Rebbetzin Kazen recalled how her father R’ Elchonon Shagalov was imprisoned by the NKVD secret police for being a mohel and teaching Torah when she was 14 years old. He never returned.
Her mother, Mrs. Maryasha Shagalov-Garelik, sent her to Moscow to an underground Lubavitch home that arranged occupations for its girls and allowed them the opportunity to keep Shabbos and live together with likeminded teenagers.
Speaking Russian, Rebbetzin Kazen told how she left Russia together with Rebbetzin Chana Schneerson, the Rebbe’s mother. According to the travel documents, they were identified as mother and daughter. During emigration, they lived in a house with another six children.
She then told about being sent on Shlichus to Cleveland, Ohio, with her husband, Rabbi Zalman Kazen, who passed away last year after serving the Jewish community for over 60 years.
Her talk concluded with speaking about the importance of education and a question and answer session shearing her years of experience and wisdom.