By COLlive reporter
The Jewish community of Vinnytsia, dealing with the political turnmoil like the rest of Ukraine, has faced another difficult task: Bidding farewell to a native that was its pride and joy.
Many were in tears as Gedalya Greenzayd, killed in a car accident while visiting New York, was laid to rest in the ancient city’s Jewish cemetery on Thursday morning amid snow and cold weather.
The 25-year-old was an only child of Avraham and Malka Greenzayd. They followed his lead in connecting with their Jewish roots after the fall of the Soviet Union. Avraham is currently the gabbai of the local shul.
The body was flown to Ukraine following a funeral in Crown Heights that was attended by over 2,000 people in tribute to the rabbinical student who shared his knowledge with others.
His coffin was brought to the Boryspil International Airport in Kiev, where anti government riots are crippling the city. Activist Hillel Cohen, who heads the Chevra Kaddish in Kiev and Hatzalah service in Ukraine, oversaw the proceedings.
On the same flight was Rabbi Chaim Schapiro, head of the smicha program in Morristown, NJ, where Greenzayd learned and inspired others. A classmate, Schneur Kirsch, flew as well and said Tehillim throughout the flight.
The procession drove past the Ohr Avner Education Village in Zhitomir, where Greenzayd learned in his youth. Its director Rabbi Eliezer Rabinovitch mentioned Gedalya’s adherence to halacha and love for the Torah.
In Vinnytsia, many gathered at the synagogue located in the center of town. In his eulogy, the city’s Rabbi Shaul Horowitz highlighted the self sacrifice of Greenzayd, the positive influence he had on his family, fellow students and the community.
The mourning parents are being assisted by Rabbi Horowitz and fellow Shluchim in Vinnytsia, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Lichtenstein and Rabbi Shlomo Aaron Rabinovitch.