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New York - Rebbetzin Esther Jungries Dies At Age 80

Published on: August 23, 2016 03:50 PM
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FILE -  Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis (Eli Wohl/VINnews.com)FILE -  Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis (Eli Wohl/VINnews.com)

New York - Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis, a well known figure in the world of Jewish outreach and the founder of Hineni passed away today at the age of 80 after suffering a serious illness.  A prolific speaker and well known author, Rebbetzin Jungreis was a Holocaust survivor and recipient of numerous awards and honors from both Jewish and non Jewish organizations.

Rebbetzin Jungreis was born in Hungary in1936, the daughter of the chief rabbi of Szeged.  The Jungreis family was deported from their home town and managed to secure spots on the Kastner train which took them to Switzerland, before moving to Brooklyn in 1947.

After marrying a distant cousin, Rabbi Meshulem Jungreis, the Rebbetzin moved to North Woodmere, where her husband became the rabbi of the Ohr Hatorah synagogue.  While raising a family of her own, she dedicated herself to combating assimilation, intermarriage and the secularization of Judaism.


In 1973 Rebbetzin Jungreis founded Hineni to bring unaffiliated Jews back to their religious roots and over the years, she criss-crossed the globe as a public speaker while authoring several books including The Jewish Soul on Fire, The Committed Life, The Committed Marriage, Principles of Good Living from our Timeless Past and Life is a Test.

In her lifetime the Rebbetzin has been featured as a keynote speaker for many groups including the Rabbinical Council of America, Hadassah, the United Jewish Appeal, Young Israel, the National Council of Jewish Women, the Orthodox Jewish Teachers Association and the 2004 Republican Convention.

She was named as “Woman of the Year” by several organizations and has been honored by the Knights of Pythias, the Christian Amita Society, the State of Israel and numerous branches of the Israel Defense Forces. Rebbetzin Jungreis was also appointed to accompany former President George W. Bush to Jerusalem in 2008 as part of an honorary delegation in honor of the State of Israel’s 60th anniversary.

Public calls for prayers for Rebbetzin Jungreis were released over the last few days as her condition deteriorated, which was described to be “quite serious” according to a Facebook post on the Rebbetzin Jungreis’ Hineni page.

“We are asking all of our friends and members to please say extra prayers for our dear mother, and the spiritual mother of the Jewish people.  The Rebbetzin has for many decades kindled the light of Torah in millions of Jewish hearts around the world.

She has prayed for us and blessed each of all with her loving kindness and warmth. Now the Rebbetzin needs our prayers!  We beseech each and every one of you to daven for a refuah sheleimoh/speedy recovery for Esther bas Miriam.”

She is survived by her children Chaya Sora Gertzulin, Rabbi Yisroel Jungreis, Slovi Wolff and Rabbi Osher Jungreis as well as many grandchildren and great grandchildren.

The funeral will take place at 11 AM Wednesday morning at Agudath Israel of Long Island, 1121 Sage Street in Far Rockaway.

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Read Comments (12)  —  Post Yours »


 Aug 23, 2016 at 04:04 PM Lexus Says:

I miss her already!
She was an eloquent speaker. Always softspoken and always right, and had the stamina of men half her age.


 Aug 23, 2016 at 04:20 PM PMOinFL Says:

BDE. The word "loss" doesn't even begin to describe it. We're all heartbroken.


 Aug 23, 2016 at 04:24 PM derecheretz Says:

Rebbetzin Jungreis was an exceptional teacher, motivator and passionate leader. I heard her many times over the years and she never failed to inspire. May Hashem rest her neshama and may her reward be immediate as for all tzadikim and tzidkaniyot.


 Aug 23, 2016 at 04:25 PM AlonShvut Says:

"ורבים השיב מעוון" (Malachi 1:6)


 Aug 23, 2016 at 04:26 PM schmaltzy Says:

Very sad. She was a pioneer in kiruv to the masses. Her son in law is R Shlomo Gertzulin of the Agudah. At one time she gave the opening invocation at the Republican convention. I believe it was for McCain.


 Aug 23, 2016 at 04:31 PM Frish Says:

BDE!!! Just like hashem installs into every generation a great Tzadik he installs,a great Tzadeikas. And no doubt she was one of them.
Having been into kiruv so many years we hope she will beseech heavens on tge behalf on all the lost souls of our generation may they already find the light back


 Aug 23, 2016 at 04:35 PM Ina Says:

What a terrible loss! I have read her column each and every week for 40 years. She was a legend in our time. How I lament that she did not live to see Moshiach. She did so much to bring the geula.


 Aug 23, 2016 at 05:08 PM Butterfly Says:



 Aug 23, 2016 at 05:19 PM elyeh Says:


My mother O"H knew her well many years ago and attended many Torah learning groups with her.

To the family, Hamakom Yenachaim Eschem B'soch Shar Avelai T'zion V'Yereshalaiyim.


 Aug 23, 2016 at 06:37 PM Sam G. Says:

BDE. She was a true legend. She will be sorely missed as a tremendous advocate for the Jewish people.


 Aug 23, 2016 at 09:58 PM Anonymous Says:

BD"H, Words can not begin to describe the enormous loss to Klal Yisroel. We all Mourn with The Rebbitzen's family.


 Aug 24, 2016 at 09:59 AM Lets_get_Real Says:

Her Tuesday classes on the East side of NYC would draw over 250-people every week. I do not know of any Rav who can attract that many every week or any Rav who has turned so many back to the Yiddish Derech. I remember a story that she was on a plane sitting next to a non frum yid who was eating a ham sandwich and at the end of the flight after talking to him he decided to try to be more Jewish. Today, the fella is frum with a family and sits and learns all day long. I do not know today of any Rav who expressed and tried to love every yid as she has.


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