By COLlive reporter
Rabbi Menachem Mendel Okunov, the Director of the Yeshiva and Camp of FREE organization who devoted his life to the Rebbe’s Shlichus and was beloved by his many students, passed away on Wednesday, 13 Adar II, 5782.
He was 70.
Reb Mendel, as he was affectionately known by his friends and Talmidim, lived in Crown Heights and has devoted his life to the Rebbe’s Shlichus, directing Yeshivas Ohel Dovid and Camp Gan Yisroel of the F.R.E.E – Friends of Refugees of Eastern Europe organization – showing thousands of students from the former Soviet Union the warmth and light of Yiddishkeit.
He grew up in the Former Soviet Union, keeping Torah and Mitzvos with great Mesirus Nefesh while hiding from the KGB.
Reb Mendel lived by example, showing all the ways of Chasidus, the embodiment of what it means to be a Chosid.
He just recently celebrated his 70th birthday and many of his students attended a large Farbrengen to celebrate. Many emotionally shared how Reb Mendel has changed their life. Many of his students have established beautiful frum families, among them proud Lubavitchers and Shluchim of the Rebbe.
Reb Mendel showed tremendous love to all and was dearly loved by all who knew him.
He is survived by his wife Zahava, children Dovid, Levi Yitzchok, Aharon, Moshe, Yosef, Chaya Mushka Rutman, Bassia Rivkah, Sholom Dov Ber, Shneur Zalman, Shmuel, Yisroel Arye Leib and Boruch.
He is also survived by his siblings Rabbi Meir Okunov and Rabbi Tzvi Hirsh Okunov and sister Ita Altein.
The Levaya will take place today, passing by ULY – Yeshivas Ohel Dovid F.R.E.E at 841 Ocean Parkway at 1PM and passing by 770 at 1:30 PM.
Baruch Dayan Ha’emes – Menachem Mendel ben Dovid Okunov.