By COLlive reporter
Professor Velvel Greene, acclaimed professor and scientist, passed away Monday, 24 Cheshvan – November 21, 2011 at the age of 83.
Greene was retired as professor emeritus from both the University of Minnesota and Ben-Gurion University of the Negev.
As a Professor at the University of Minnesota in the 1960s, Greene was acclaimed as a pioneer in his field of bacteriology. He was invited by NASA to join a select team of scientists studying the possible effects of space travel on human life.
Prof. Greene traveled internationally to speak on the topic of science and religion.
Professor Greene became close to Chabad nearly 50 years ago when he met Minneapolis Shliach Rabbi Moshe Feller.
Greene was an original participant in NASAs Exobiology program searching for life on Mars. The Rebbe used to ask him for regular reports on his scientific research:
3 years ago, at a party celebrating Greene’s 80th birthday, Be’er Sheva Shliach Rabbi Zalman Gorelik asked him to disclose to the public the collection of letters and correspondence he had received from the Rebbe over the span of many years, since they contained valuable lessons for Chassidim.
Greene agreed, and over the last year these letters had been printed in the Kfar Chabad magazine.
In recent months Greene was in the final stages of a book of these letters, and only last week he had sent the final letters and the book’s introduction to the editor.
This morning, Prof. Greene was headed to a lecture when he suddenly did not feel well. He was admitted to the hospital where he passed away shortly afterwards.
He is survived by his wife, Gail, sons Rabbi Shmuel Greene and Rabbi Dovid Greene of Minnesota, and daughters Rachel Black, Penina Seidel and Nechama Kahana.
The funeral will be held tomorrow, Tuesday, in Beer Sheva, Israel.
The Greene family is sitting Shiva until Monday morning at
51/1 Mivtza Nachshon, Beer Sheva, Israel
Phone number 011 972 86418992
email: [email protected]
Baruch Dayan Haemes.