By COLlive reporter
R’ Yehuda Leib Mochkin, a Lubavitcher chossid who was active in the Crown Heights Jewish community and had a heroic past, has passed away on Shabbos, 9 Av 5779.
He was the son of Reb Peretz Mochkin, the famed chossid from the village of Nevel in Russia who later served as the Mashpia of the Chabad community in Montreal, Canada.
R’ Leibel, as he was known, was one of the fearless leaders who smuggled families of Chassidim out of the Soviet Union after the Second World War in the years 5706-5707 (1945-1947).
It is estimated that the underground network has saved thousands of lives from being persecuted and exiled by the Communists.
Working alongside R’ Leibel were Rabbis Yona Cohen, Chaim Dubrowsky, Nochum Sasonkin, Mendel Futerfas and Mrs. Sara Katzenelenbogen (Raskin), of blessed memory. They were all wanted people by the Russian secret police NKVD.
Using forged Polish passports, the group was able to lead most of the Chabad chassidim out of Russia, allowing for the establishments of Chabad communities in Paris, Kfar Chabad, Jerusalem and Crown Heights.
After immigrating to the United States, he was active in the Crown Heights community. He was a founding board member of Oholei Torah in Crown Heights, and was a hanhala member of the Central Yeshiva Tomchei Tmimim Lubavitch – 770 Eastern Parkway in Crown Heights.
He was very involved in being mechazek the community of Crown Heights, including helping with the purchase of buildings on Kingston Avenue.
He is survived by his wife Riva (nee Shimonovitch) and children Levi Mochkin – Melbourne, Australia, Yossel Mochkin – Crown Heights, Shimon Mochkin – Crown Heights, Mendel Mochkin – Crown Heights, Rochel Kaplan – Montreal, Canada, Feigy Fellig – Miami Beach, FL and Lyeneh Cohen – New Jersey.
He is survived by his siblings Rabbi Berel Mochkin – Montreal, Canada, and Mrs. Gutke Shapiro – Crown Heights.
The levaya will take place today, Sunday, leaving shomrei Hadas at 2:30 pm
and passing by 770 at 3:30 pm.
Shiva will take place at 623 Empire Blvd
Shachris: 6:45, 8:30, 9:30
Mincha and Maariv: bizmana
Email for Shiva condolences [email protected] The family requests to submit any stories and memories.
Baruch Dayan Haemes: Yehuda Leib ben Peretz.