Rabbi Benzion Eliezer Hackner passed away on April 6 as a result of COVID-19.

Born in 1939 to his parents, Shmaryahu and Leah Hackner, he grew up during the tumultuous years of World War II and the German blitz over London. He attended a Jewish day school full-time, a rarity in those days, when many British parents would send their children to a public school with a few hours of religious instruction after school.

As a young man, he played a pivotal role in many Jewish educational projects, including Camp Agudah in Liberty, N.Y., about two hours northeast of New York City.

When the talks of the Rebbe—Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, of righteous memory—began to be broadcast worldwide in the 1970s, Hackner, working in tandem with his brother in New York, played a key role in broadcasting the Rebbe’s words to the rest of the world—routing the phone-hookups through London—allowing Chassidim around the world to hear the Rebbe’s talks live, a technological breakthrough at the time.

A dedicated activist in the London Chabad community, he was involved in many of its operations, as well as giving daily classes at the Chabad synagogue of Stamford Hill, a London neighborhood with a sizable Jewish population, where he served as gabbai.

He is survived by his wife, Shoshana, and their children: Miriam Edelman; Soroh Eidelman; Yocheved Zirkind; Moshe Hackner; Chaim Hackner; in addition to many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

He is also survived by a brother, Yonasan Hackner.

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