By COLlive reporter
Rabbi Elchonon Halpern, Rabbi of Golders Green in London and President of the Union of Orthodox Hebrew Congregations in England, passed away Tuesday night, 29 Shevat 5775.
He was 93 and was surrounded by his family members at the Royal London Hospital.
Born in Czechoslovakia (today Slovakia), he was a decendant of the Sanzer Rebbe, the Divrei Chaim. At the age of 14, he wrote to the Rogatchover Gaon, Rabbi Yosef Rosin, who in return titled him “Harav Hagaon.”
After moving to London and marrying the daughter of the gaon Rabbi Nochum Lidzervsky, Rabbi Halpern founded the Bais Shmuel synagogue, today one of the largest in the heavily populated Jewish neighborhood of Golders Green.
He later founded the Pardes School and was appointed to head of UOHC, the umbrella organization which caters for all aspects of frum Jewish life in London and the suburbs of Stamford Hill, Golders Green, Hendon and Edgware.
Rabbi Halpern met the Lubavitcher Rebbe on several occasions and had deep respect for the Chabad-Lubavitch movement, its renowned scholarship and outreach activities.
When the Shluchim Rabbi Gabi and Rivky Holtzberg were murdered in a terror attack on their Chabad center in Mumbai in 2008, Rabbi Halpern hosted a memorial in their honor at his shul.
The Levaya took place Wednesday morning at his Shul in London. Kevura will take place Wednesday evening at Har Hazeisim in Israel.
Baruch dayan haemes.