Yehuda (“Yuda”) Backer was a well-known figure in the Crown Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn, N.Y., recognized for his philanthropy and generosity in supporting Jewish communal causes and Chabad-Lubavitch activities more broadly. He passed away on April 16 after contracting COVID-19.

In 2013, Backer sponsored a brand-new ambulance for the Crown Heights Hatzalah volunteer emergency medical corps at the staggering cost of $185,000. This ambulance was parked outside the iconic Lubavitch World Headquarters at 770 Eastern Parkway, where it would respond to thousands of urgent calls for help each year.

A developer and property owner by trade, and a humble charitable giver, Backer never sought the limelight. He was remembered as a mensch.

Much of his charitable work went unseen, as one community member attested: “Few people know the extent of his tzedakah. He not only helped financially, he got involved personally; sometimes as discreetly as possible.”

Backer is survived by his wife, Ruth, and their sons Shmuli and Shimmy, in addition to their grandchildren.

He is also survived by sisters Sarah Fischman, Riva Denburg, Kayla Kendall and Rochel Chazanow.

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