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Rashi Minkowicz, Mother of Eight, Role Model for Many, Passes Suddenly at 37

Rashi Minkowicz, Mother of Eight, Role Model for Many, Passes Suddenly at 37

Rashi Minkowicz and her family
Rashi Minkowicz and her family

Rashi Minkowicz, Chabad emissary to Fulton County, Ga., mother of eight and mentor to many, passed away suddenly on March 11. She was 37 years old.

Together with her husband, Rabbi Hirshy Minkowicz, she built a vibrant community from the ground up since arriving in the Atlanta suburb of Alpharetta in 1998.

“She was the spine of our community,” recalls Anthony Shapiro, who credits his family’s return to Torah observance to the Minkowicz family. “She was an inspiration, not just as a rebbetzin, but as a mother and a friend—never criticizing for what we were not doing, but pointing out and celebrating what we did do.”

Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., to Rabbi Chaim Meir and Sara Lieberman, Minkowicz grew up as one of 17 siblings in a home that was open to long- and short-term guests around the clock. After graduating from Associated Beth Rivkah Schools (directed by her future father-in-law) in Brooklyn, she went on to study at the Bais Chaya Mushka Seminary in Montreal, Canada.

After her marriage, she and her husband set out to bring the passion and joy of Judaism to Alpharetta, an affluent suburb north of Atlanta with a population of nearly 60,000. “When they first arrived, there was no Torah community here,” says Shapiro. “Now there are probably 20 families that keep Shabbat, and many others who have been drawn in due to their teaching and inspiration.”

“She was a leader in so many ways—most often, by gentle example. People would watch the way she did simple things—like how she dressed her kids—and do the same. You could see how people acted differently in her presence," he says. "When my wife, Tracy, and I decided that we were ready to take on the added mitzvah of [eating] cholov Yisroel [strictly supervised kosher dairy items], Rashi brought over a beautiful dish to be used with our cholov Yisroel dairy foods.”

A Real Trailblazer

Minkowicz’s cousin, Levi Margolin, says she was a real trailblazer. “She was the first of our cousins to get married and the first to go out on shlichus,” he says. “Immediately, she started having her siblings, cousins, friends and even strangers visit and help out with whatever was going on. We were—and still are—all so proud of what she and Hirshy were doing. She was a true shlucha of the Rebbe [Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, of righteous memory], and lived every moment for her family and community. It's amazing to see the positive vibe and growth that they have created in Alpharetta.”

An active leader, she led the community in building a beautiful state-of-the art mikvah, which she then operated with pride and care. She also directed the community’s Gan Israel summer day camp and its Hebrew school, as well as planned and executed countless women’s events and holiday programs.

In the midst of preparing Purim celebrations for both children and adults, the busy mother of eight passed away suddenly on Tuesday night.

As the community learned of the news, Shapiro says they are turning to Minkowicz’s example for guidance. “It was just recently that she told us how her grandfather [Rabbi Hersh Gansbourg] danced and sang on Simchat Torah, shortly after losing his wife. Like him, she just wouldn’t want tragedy to get in the way of living life as a Jew and as a Chassid.”

In addition to her husband, Minkowicz is survived by their eight young children: Mendel, Yoel, Henya, Tonia, Naftali, Shaya, Dovid and Alter.

She is also survived by her parents; her in-laws, Rabbi Laime and Shoshana Minkowicz; and 16 siblings: Rabbi Moshe Lieberman (shliach in Newton, Mass.); Rabbi Yossi Lieberman (shliach in West Hempstead, N.Y.); Bluma Marcus (shlucha in Los Alamitos, Calif.); Mendy Lieberman, (Brooklyn, N.Y.); Levi Lieberman (Redondo Beach, Calif.); Esty Majesky (Brooklyn, N.Y.); Henya Friedman (Brooklyn, N.Y.); Shaya Lieberman, (Brooklyn, N.Y.); Doba Raskin (Brooklyn, N.Y.); Mushka Shusterman (Los Angeles, Calif.); Shalom Lieberman; Tirtzah Lieberman; Chani Lieberman; Shmulie Lieberman; Zalmy Lieberman; and Nissi Lieberman.

Her funeral procession will pass by her childhood home, and then Lubavitch World Headquarters at 770 Eastern Parkway, in the Crown Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn, N.Y., on Thursday, March 13, at 10:30 a.m. It will proceed to the Old Montefiore Cemetery, where interment will take place at 11:15 a.m.

Those wishing to support Rashi Minkowicz's legacy may do so at a special fund created in her memory..

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Amelia johnson Alpharetta April 5, 2014

Blessings unto you. May the lord bless you and keep you.I live in Alpharetta and love the Jewish people. May our heavenly father bring you peace. Reply

Anonymous Atlanta March 22, 2014

Please Support Please visit this amazing Chabad's campaign website at Mendel Minkowicz is working very hard on this and it would really mean so much. Reply

David S. Levine Hobe Sound, Florida via March 21, 2014

From Martin County, FL We of the Chabad community around the world realize all that Chabad rabbis and their wives do, i.e. what a resource they are in the Jewish world. It is therefore a loss to all of us when one so vital to us untimely passes away. All of us therefore send condolences to the Minkowicz family and know that Rashi Minkowicz will have a great place in the World to Come. Reply

Carol SH Gottlieb Greensburg, PA March 20, 2014

Rashi Minkowicz May her memory be as a blessing to her family, friends and community as her legacy continues. Reply

Susan Brooks Cohen Baltimore, MD March 19, 2014

I will miss you The Lieberman family has always felt like an extension of my own family. I could not see them for years and it would feel like just yesterday. Always warm and inviting. While I did attend Rashi's wedding my last most special memory was the Shabbat weekend I spent with her two years earlier before her marriage. We stayed up to nearly 3 am discussing our dreams and hopes for the future. Rashi's life ended way too soon but I am glad to say that all she dreamed of and wanted to inspire to be that night so long ago has been achieved. I may of not have seen her in several years but I will always consider her like a sister. After seeing her parents and siblings tonight, she has left a large whole in their hearts. She will be deeply missed by all. Reply

STEPHEN FREEDMAN & DIANE LASSITER Alpharetta, Ga. via March 17, 2014

DEEPEST SYMPATHIES Our sincere condolences to Rabbi Hirshy, the children, and our whole Chabbad family. Rashi was a gifted teacher, mother, wife, sister, and daughter. Her efforts in building a vibrant community will continue in eternity. Her legacy are her special children. May the entire family be spared further sorrow. (B.H.) Reply

H. & F. yousefzadeh March 15, 2014

This morning my son said "now that Ms. Rashi is passed am I going to have sunday school any more?" Well,our sunday school will go on without her I said, but she will never be gone from our minds. She did all of what Ha'Shem asked her to do and she graduated with honer from our schooling on earth (human form) and she did it in only 37 years. Somthing that may take us 80 or 90 years to do. She is now practicing in a new (sperit form) in the second demention of tree of life from here on........She will be greatly missed. May Ha'Shem's comfort and strength to sustain her family through this tragedy. All of our prayers and thoughts be with the family. Reply

Geoffrey Dreikman Lombard Durham, New Hampshire March 14, 2014

Ha'Shem, Hold Rashi Minkowicz and touch her with your eternal love. My family and I convey with sadness and tears our sympathy to the family and hope for Ha'Shem's comfort and strength to sustain them through this tragedy. Reply

Marsha Myerowitz Monroeville, PA/USA via March 14, 2014

Rashi Minkowicz, zikhronah livrakha What a shame that someone so young and vibrant is gone. How terribly sad I feel for her husband, parent and siblings, and especially for those beautiful young children. I am sure she will be greatly missed by her community. I didn't know her, but I mourn her loss as if I did. Reply

Moishe Las Vegas, Nevada via March 14, 2014

Please, please, God! Give us Moshiach! Please! God is so far beyond comprehension in how He creates everything in the universe at every moment & is able to make it all run unimaginably, so, we recognize Him as The True Judge.
Nevertheless, I submit my profound devastation, pouring tears, & sympathy to the family and pray God somehow manage to cause comfort to each of them. I'm so sorry. Reply

amiram via March 13, 2014

זיכרונה לברכה, היא חיי בילדים שלה זיכרונה לברכה, היא חיי בילדים שלה Reply

Rita Chana Bat Tzion March 13, 2014

Baruch Dayan HaEmet

All my prayers & thoughts with the family... Reply

Victorique March 13, 2014

I only know of her after her passing, R.I.P Rashi Minkowicz, she'll be missed by her friends and family, and community also Reply

Anonymous Brooklyn March 13, 2014

:'( Reply

Gilbert Kleiff Michigan March 13, 2014

A beautiful story of a woman who lived her beliefs and set an example for all Americans and Jews
May her memory be an inspiration to all Reply

Leah Urso Israel via March 13, 2014

Moshiach now! We mourn as one heart. Reply

Kristin Tarantino Belleville, NJ March 13, 2014

Such a beautiful woman and so dedicated to her family, friends and community. May she R.I.P and be forever remembered in the hearts of so many ppl. Reply

Anonymous Melbourne March 13, 2014

A beautiful soul I didn't have the privilege to know Rashi. It is evident that she was a superhuman, energetic and loving mother, wife and shlucha. May her family be comforted with the ultimate comfort of Moshiach and techies hameisim, NOW!!!! Reply

Anonymous London March 13, 2014

Baruch Dayan HaEmet. May Rashi rest in peace and Hashem comfort and ease the pain of her husband and children.
May Hashem send us the Mashiach now so there will be no more tears and loss. Reply

Malinda Hakimian March 13, 2014

Baruch dayan haemet.may mishiach come already Reply

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