“She was the briach hatichon (central beam) of the community, and she was involved in every aspect of the development of the kehillah. When a new family moved in, she would greet them, tell them where to go for their needs, and really go all out to make them feel welcome and at home.”
“Although my aunt was very occupied with the community of Jersey City, she was first and foremost a wife and mother,” her nephew shared with Hamodia. “When she moved here with her husband Reb Moshe Duvid, who opened the grocery for the benefit of the kehillah, he did not have sufficient funds to keep a worker on the payroll, so she took it upon herself to help in the store to give her husband a break. In fact, her husband just stepped out for a few minutes to go next door to the shul to commemorate the yahrtzeit of the Bas Ayin, Avraham Dov Auerbach of Avrush, zy”a, when the shooting began.”
Mrs. Leah Mindel Ferencz (nee Greenfeld) was born in Williamsburg in 1987, and at the young age of 8, her mother was incapacitated and could no longer function. Throughout the ordeal, young Mindy undertook to help in her home, while at the same time acquiring a reputation of being a true friend of all her classmates. At 14, her mother passed away, yet she maintained her upbeat attitude and kept herself available to help take care of others.
After marrying and settling for several years in Williamsburg, she supported his decision to be one of the first to move to the new community of Satmar families in Jersey City. “She was a pioneer,” said Rabbi Dovid Niederman of UJO of Williamsburg. “She and her husband were of the very first to relocate from Williamsburg, due to the sky-rocketing prices of housing, to settle in Jersey City. They did not do it for themselves, but to pave the way for a new community that lives harmoniously with their neighbors. She was a caring and nurturing mother for her five children, and at the same time helped her husband who ran the first kosher grocery in the area, to ensure that the community’s families have were to shop and feed their children.”
Neighbors told Hamodia that Reb Moshe Duvid was employed elsewhere, but he felt that in order for the community to grow, it was vital they have the convenience of a full-service grocery. “He gave up his job and undertook to start this business, which was a great sacrifice and chessed at the time,” they said. “Mrs. Ferencz was a great help, as she prepared fresh hot soup and salads for the customers, which was a great help for both the residents of the community and the many frum Yidden who worked in the area. They would come in at all times of the day and were able to get some hot food and a warm reception.”
Rabbi Moshe Shapiro of The Jewish Center-Chabad of Hoboken and Jersey City spoke of the convenience provided by the Ferencz family and the Jersey City community. “I came here often for Minchah, and would meet many people who work in the surrounding area. Some work in construction and renovation, some in real estate and some in the many warehouses in the region. Everyone was grateful for the shul and the grocery, and we are all overwhelmed with grief by what happened.”
Besides for taking care of her family and the store, Mrs. Ferencz was always the first one to volunteer her help for any party in the kehillah. “She was the askente of the stadt. If anything needed to be done, she was the one who organized it,” commented her nephew. “She was leibedik, a whirlwind of activity, making sure that there would be enough food for all the guests. Her heart was just overflowing with kindness for everyone. Furthermore, it was all done with such emeskeit, with truthfulness. She truly wanted to help others, and it was her greatest joy when she was able to make others happy. She not only provided them with their needs, but also gave them a great deal of chizzuk and encouragement.”
“I am a chassan and getting married next week,” he said, “and I never could imagine not having her joining in the simchah. She brought such joy to everyone.”
Mrs. Leah Mindel Ferencz is survived by ybl”c her husband Reb Moshe Duvid, and their one son Chaim Ferencz, and two daughters Devori and Yidis Ferencz, ages 11, 7 and 4. In addition, she is survived by ybl”c her father Reb Binyamin Hersh Greenfeld; her brothers Reb Yoili and Reb Moshe Greenfeld; her sisters Mrs. Yehudis Freund, Mrs. Malky Greenwald, Mrs. Gitty Stern, Mrs. Hindy Soffer, Mrs. Shaindy Weisberg, Mrs. Chani Czigler, Mrs. Tzurty Steinman, and Mrs. Shiffy Klein.
A fund to help the family has been set up, and all are encouraged to contribute to the fund set up for the victims at https://www.charidy.com/jcvictims.
Yehi zichrah baruch.