The 15th of Menachem Av marked the 24th yartzeit of Rabbi Yaakov Yehuda (J.J.) Hecht, OBM, who led the National Committee for Furtherance of Jewish Education (NCFJE).
As a chassid, as a father, as a grandfather, as a Rabbi, as a friend and as an asken, he was remembered by family, friends and supporters of his organization at a gathering at the Ohel.
The program began with a siyum, given by his son Rabbi Shimon Hecht of Park Slope, Brooklyn, which was broadcast live on radio and internet.
Everyone then proceeded to the Ohel and then to the kever of Rabbi Hecht to recite the appropriate tefilos followed with inspirational words extended by his son, Rabbi Shea Hecht. A seuda was then served in the tent.
A former camper, Mrs. Suri-Zakheim-Sheff, shared her memories of Camp Emunah and her memories of Rabbi Hecht, “the daddy of us all.”
Rabbi Dovid Kievman, a grandchild, shared stories of the enduring legacy of Camp Emunah.
Rabbi Zali Shimon Abramowitz of Chabad of Clinton Hill, Brooklyn, shared precious memories of his Zaidy Hecht, ending with “he met with princes of men – and then came home to dinner with his family- and then had the time to dance with his two year old grandchild.”
After 24 years, Rabbi Hecht’s spirit is still an enduring force, and may he continue to “storm the heavens” and demand Moshiach now.