The Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America mourns the passing of Grand Rabbi Shlomo Halberstam, the Bobover Rebbe, z”tl. Dr. Mandell I. Ganchrow, OU president, said, “The Jewish community has lost a great spiritual leader. Rebbe to thousands and thousands of Jews in many countries all over the world, Rabbi Halberstam distinguished himself among leaders with the rebirth and renewal of the Bobover Chassidic community after the Holocaust.”
Betty Ehrenberg, Director of International and Communal Affairs, said, “The Jewish community is bereft of a great Torah scholar and giant of the Chassidic world. The Bobover Rebbe, a survivor of the Holocaust and a descendant of the great Divrei Chaim of Sanz, came to the United States after the war where he established the Bobover Chassidic yeshiva and community in the Boro Park section of Brooklyn. Having a deep love for Eretz Yisrael, Rabbi Halberstam founded Kiryat Bobov in 1958 in Bat Yam, creating the center for Bobover Chassidim in Israel.
“The Bobover Rebbe was a great tzaddik who performed many, many acts of g’milut chassadim for many Jews in his lifetime. People who were bereaved of entire families after the Holocaust, people who were lost and alone in the world, without relatives, those who were uprooted, strangers in a strange land, were helped by the Bobover Rebbe. Countless people who found themselves without means of support were aided by Rabbi Halberstam. So many sought the advice and wise counsel of Rabbi Halberstam that he would stay up till very late hours of the night meeting with those who needed his help.
“The Bobover Rebbe spent countless hours in the study of Torah, Talmud and Kabbalah in the great tradition of Sanz. His joy in Chassidic song and dance was renowned, a talent he inherited from his father who was famous for the many beautiful Chassidic melodies he composed. Thousands would come to see him celebrate the Jewish holidays with the most profound joy of avodas Hashem.
“The Jewish people are bereft of the Bobover Rebbe’s love and warmth, Torah, chessed and leadership. May his memory be blessed and may his family be comforted amongst the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem.”