Jewish Couple Confirmed Dead in Surfside Condo Collapse

Aryeh Oliwkowicz and Ruth Oliwkowicz, originally of Venezuela and residents of Champlain Towers South residential building in Surfside, Florida were pronounced dead on Sunday. Their daughter is Leah Fouhal, secretary of the Lubavitch Mesivta of Chicago. Full Story

By COLlive reporter

Miami-Dade Police Department has identified Leon Oliwkowicz and Christina Beatriz Elvira as one of the victims of the collapse of Thursday’s Champlain Towers South residential building in Surfside, Florida.

Their bodies were recovered on Shabbos and the announcement was made on Sunday.

“We have identified four additional victims that sadly and unexpectedly lost their lives in the tragic Surfside building collapse. Please keep their families and loved ones in your prayers,” the police said in a tweet.

Following the sudden crumbling of the building, the 79-year-old Aryeh Oliwkowicz and 74-year-old Ruth Oliwkowicz were reported missing. They lived in Apt. 704 in the beachfront condominium complex.

“There are very few words that could give anybody consolation because you are dealing with an unimaginable, horrific tragedy that struck in the middle of the night,” said Rabbi Sholom Ber Lipskar, spiritual leader of The Shul of Bal Harbour who has several missing congregants.

More than 150 people remain unaccounted for, said Surfside Mayor Charles W. Burkett.

The Oliwkowicz couple, who hailed from Venezuela, were proud parents of Mrs. Leah Fouhal, a resident of the West Rogers Park neighborhood in Chicago and a member of the local Chabad community.

In 2019, the couple donated a Sefer Torah to Yeshivas Ohr Eliyahu – Lubavitch Mesivta of Chicago, where their daughter works as a secretary. The procession left from the home of Leah and R’ Bezalel Fouhal in a joyous parade was led by a vintage fire truck, music and a giant velvet and gold crown.

Speaking in Yiddish at the event, Mr. Oliwkowicz expressed his satisfaction at finally having the opportunity to commission a Torah scroll in memory of his parents and blessed the assembled with health and long life, reported the Chicago Jewish Home.

Baruch Dayan Ha’emes: Yehuda Aryeh Leib ben Yeshayahu Zev and Rus bas Avraham OBM.



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