BDE: Rebbetzin Toba Twersky, Maliner Rebbetzin of Chicago

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toba twersky

Rebbetzin Toby (Halberstam) Twersky, a fifth-generation descendant of the Divrei Chaim of Sanz and a pillar of the Chicago community for over fifty years, has passed away at the age of 91.

She was raised in a tradition of holiness and chessed by her parents, Rav Baruch, Hy”d and Rebbetzin Reizel Sarah Halberstam, in the town of Gribov, where her father was the rav. Rav Boruch also served as the rav hatzair of Sanz, where his father was the rav. As a young girl in Gribov, Toby was her mother’s messenger to distribute funds in a discreet manner to the needy of the town. Thus, a strong chinuch for chessed was ingrained in her, and would remain with her throughout her long life.

Along with her mother and siblings, she survived the war in Siberia, while their father perished in Belzec, and remains interred in the enormous kever achim there. Her eldest brother, the Sanzer Rebbe of Boro Park, zt”l, took over the leadership of the family. Following the war, he hired an elderly Lubavitcher chassid to teach his sisters the Ivrei that they had forgotten during their travails. During their stay in Krakow, he also journeyed with his younger sister to kivrei avos in Sanz.

Arriving in America in 1946, they settled in Brownsville, and in 1954 she married Rabbi Avrohom Yehoshua Heschel Twersky, the son of Rav Chanoch Henoch Twersky, the Maliner Rebbe of Chicago, a scion of the Chernobyler dynasty.

The Twerskys were pillars of the Chicago community for over half a century, having a hand in the establishment of nearly every mosad in the Windy City. They were moser nefesh for the chinuch of their children, sending them to relatives in New York so they could attend schools there.

They also created an atmosphere where every Yid was welcomed with love. Rebbetzin Twersky deeply cherished her Sanzer yichus, and was an indefatigable force for her family and her community into her old age.

Rebbetzin Twersky will be remembered by her family and the Chicago community as one of its early pioneers who continued to give to it with love and generosity for decades.

The levaya will be held in Boro Park at Shomrei Hadas, at 3:00 p.m. Tuesday. Kevurah will be at the Malin-Chernobyler chelka on Har Hazeisim.

Yehi zichrah baruch.

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