From a young age, Chaya Motchkin risked her life for her beliefs. She passed away on April 4 after battling COVID-19.

The daughter of legendary Chassid Rabbi Zalman Leib Estulin, she stood on the frontlines against religious persecution in Soviet-era Russia, bravely keeping Shabbat and participating in the vibrant Jewish underground at the time.

Motchkin married the late Rabbi Chaim Yosef Motchkin, who in his own right lived with incredible self-sacrifice.

Together, they dedicated themselves to the plight of their Russian brethren after they escaped the Soviet Union and arrived in the United States, settling in the Chabad community in the Crown Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn, N.Y.

She raised a beautiful family and kept an open-door policy in her home. Mourners lauded her hospitality and kindness.

Motchkin is survived by her children, Sara Motchkin-Kanevsky, Chanie Garelik and Dinie Cohen.

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