Rebbetzin Bassy Azimov, daughter of the famed Rabbi Bentzion Shemtov and one of the driving forces behind Paris’ Jewish rebirth in the second half of the 20th century, passed away Monday. She was 67.

Raised in London, Azimov learned the value of self-sacrifice from her father and mother, who were leaders of the Jewish underground behind the Iron Curtain and went on to establish Chabad-Lubavitch institutions in the United Kingdom and elsewhere at the behest of the Sixth Rebbe, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn, of righteous memory, and his successor, the Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, of righteous memory.

She graduated from the Jewish Teachers’ Training College in Gateshead, England, and prior to her marriage to Rabbi Shmuel Azimov, served as her father’s assistant in making the first of the Rebbe’s public talks available in print.

“Whether at school or at home, she served as a role model to others, and as a communicator of the Rebbe’s message,” said Azimov’s brother, Rabbi Abraham Shemtov, chairman of the international umbrella organization of Agudas Chasidei Chabad. “Needless to say, it’s a loss that will be felt in many ways: by the family, her spiritual family, and by all those who have been beneficiaries of her efforts.”

Among the close-knit Parisian Jewish community, Azimov was known as the “head rebbetzin of France” after arriving in the capital in 1968 with her husband. Together, the couple established Paris’ first Chabad House as an outgrowth of the vast educational and humanitarian programs established by the Lubavitch movement in the early 1940s.

As the city’s population of North African Jewish immigrants swelled, the Azimovs expanded their work, eventually presiding over a network of initiatives focused on college students, tourists, schoolchildren, women, young families and residents.

Thousands filled the Rue des Vinaigriers in Paris’ 10th District the morning of her passing as her coffin made its way past the Beth Chaya Mushka educational complex and on to the airport for a flight to Israel. She will be buried in Jerusalem’s Mount of Olives cemetery on Tuesday.

Family members described a woman who was solely concerned about the wellbeing of others.

“She always used to call my wife, wondering how we were managing here in Cyprus with the kids, with obtaining kosher food, really with everything,” recalled Azimov’s nephew, Rabbi Chaim Hillel Azimov. “She used to tell my wife that she remembered what it was like when she first arrived in Paris, all alone, and wanted to be sure that my wife had everything she needed.”

Added Azimov: “She brought many Jews back to their roots over the years.”