By COLlive reporter
R’ Chaim Berkowitz, a passionate Lubavitcher Chossid known for his open heart to others, passed away on the first day of Shavuos, 6 Sivan 5782.
He was 77 and had a month-long battle with Covid-19.
Berkowitz has been a longtime member of the Chabad community in North Miami Beach, Florida. Several years ago, he made aliya and settled in the holy city of Tzfas.
He regularly davened at Beis Medrash Tefillah Moshe of Lelov, the Tzemach Tzedek Shul – Chabad House of Tsfat, and the Artist Quarter Minyan for the English-speaking community in Tzfas.
Friends described him as one who gave his heart and soul to help fellow Jews with his Friends Feeding Friends program which supported those in financial need with kosher food packages.
“Reb Chaim loved Hashem, loved to daven and loved to learn Torah,” said Rabbi Zalman Traxler, Director of the Artist Quarter Minyan.
“He was a straight shooter and said it how it was. He had a very good sense of humor and he cared a lot about people. He would contact me regularly about how to go about helping local families in the community that were hard-working and still needed assistance. He would raise funds from his friends back in Miami.”
While Berkowitz had been introduced to Torah in his later years, his commitment to Torah in all matters was breathtaking, friends said. Over the past year, he had two separate chavrusas in Kuntres UMaayon every day, in addition to attending a Gemera shiur for many years.
At the Tzemach Tzedek Shul, he was involved in the learning programs for English speakers and was there every day for several classes. He was a pillar of the community and his presence is sorely missed by all who were privileged to know him.
During his hospital stay, in which he was largely in a medically induced coma, the community rallied to his bedside, some with Tehillim and good wishes, others with music therapy and other expressions of encouragement.
He is survived by his wife Esther Berkowitz, and his daughter Sunni Walbek.
To learn Mishnayos in his memory: https://sharetoremember.com/chaim-berkowitz/mishnayos
Baruch Dayan Haemes: Chaim Ben Eliyahu