Sara Deren, 38, faced a life of challenge with grace and joy.

Just one week short of the fifth yahrtzeit of her husband—Rabbi Mendel Deren, who left this world at the age of 36—and a month away from her 39th birthday, Mrs. Sara Deren passed away on Nov. 2.

Born in Israel to David and Tziona Cohen, she was educated in Chabad-Lubavitch schools. Following her marriage to American-born Rabbi Mendel Deren, she and her husband, who served as director of development for the Mayanot Institute of Jewish Studies and then for Chabad-Lubavitch of Western and Southern New England, lived in Jerusalem and then New York.

Together, the couple overcame many medical hurdles, living lives of purpose and inspiration, always sharing of themselves and their time with others.

Mendel Deren succumbed to chronic medical conditions during the 2010 International Conference of Chabad-Lubavitch Emissaries (Kinus Hashluchim), an event he especially relished.

After his passing, Sara Deren—the couple was not blessed with children—continued to live an outwardly directed life of helping and nurturing others.

In addition to her work as a teacher’s assistant at a local school and a librarian at a local Jewish library, she led cooking classes in her home for teenagers, always seeking to make a positive mark in the world around her.

The funeral took place at Moshav Nes Harim outside of Jerusalem.

In addition to her parents, she is survived by her siblings and their families; her parents-in-law, Rabbi Yisrael and Vivi Deren of Stamford, Conn.; and the extended Deren and Cohen families.

Rabbi Mendel and Sara Deren on their wedding day
Rabbi Mendel and Sara Deren on their wedding day