R’ Reuven Solomon, 84, AH

R’ Reuven Solomon, a dedicated chossid from England who was a founding member of Chabad in Stamford Hill and worked in business with Reb Mendel Futerfas, and more recently lived in Los Angeles, passed away.

R’ Reuven Solomon, a dedicated chossid from England who was a founding member of Chabad in Stamford Hill and worked in business with Reb Mendel Futerfas, and more recently lived in Los Angeles, passed away.

He was 84 years old.

Reuven was born in 1938 in Shepherd’s Bush, London, to Moshe and Dinah Solomon. His paternal great-grandfather, HaRav Zeligson, was a renowned Chazzan and Shochet in Bialystok, and his maternal great-uncle, Rabbi Aaron Schuster, was the former Chief Rabbi of Amsterdam.

Reuven’s father and grandparents escaped the pogroms in Bialystok, Poland, at the turn of the 20th century, and traveled to Middleborough, England, to find refuge, and a safer life for their family. They soon moved to the Hammersmith neighborhood of London, where Reuven grew up.

Even as a child, Reuven was known for attending minyan daily, and he was usually the first to arrive in shul. His punctuality, commitment, and kabbalas ol were distinctive aspects of his character throughout his life.

After his Bar Mitzvah, Reuven attended the Gateshead Yeshiva, where he was recognized as a diligent and punctilious student who attended every Seder for over six years. There, he formed a close friendship with his “elterer chavrusa” Rav Matisyahu Solomon. During z’manim, he stayed with Dayan Avraham Rappaport and family, one of the leading rabbonim of the London Beis Din, developing a very close relationship with the Dayan and his family.

Every Erev Shabbos, Reuven traveled to visit his Zaide Yitzchak Gedalya, who lived at a senior care home in Sunderland. During these visits, he often went to the home of Rabbi Berel Levin, who decades later became his mechutan, to study Tanya, an experience that introduced him to Lubavitch Chassidus.

Upon completing Yeshiva, he was taken in by Rev. Aron Dov (AD) and Henny Sufrin, and soon became a beloved ben bayis. The Sufrins laid the foundation for Reuven’s ever-expanding spiritual life by bringing him closer to Chabad and to the Rebbe in particular.

In the late 1950s, Reuven made his first visit to the Rebbe, marking the start of a long and close relationship as a chosid. Over the years, he merited many opportunities to lengthy yechidusim, exchange numerous correspondences, and receive unique brochos.

That special closeness to the Rebbe served as Reuven’s guiding light for the rest of his life, and he was zoche to be the beneficiary of two remarkable nissim, as relayed by Rabbi Nachman Sudak a”h in a featured article in the Kfar Chabad magazine.

In 1959, he married Evelyn (Chava) Wyler of Lucerne, Switzerland. The young couple moved to Stamford Hill in London, where Reuven became one of the founding members of a small Lubavitch community and its shul on Cazenoff Road. At the time, most of the Lubavitcher Chassidim were recent emigres from Russia. Given Reuven’s fluency in English and personal dedication, he quickly became one of the community’s first employees. Among his earliest positions were serving as the Lubavitch secretary and helping orchestrate programming for Lubavitch Foundation, which included youth activities and summer camp for the community’s children.

In later years, Reuven was active in committees dedicated to growing the Lubavitch Foundation schools, as well as being philanthropic to the Rebbe’s mosdos.

Upon hearing of Reuven’s involvement and generosity, the Rebbe corresponded and handwrote the title “haoisek be’tzorche tzibur b’emunah,” and blessed him, saying that he would be zoche to have much nachas from all his children.

In the early 1970s, Reuven joined Reb Mendel Futterfas in his firm called ‘Ness Plastics’, helping to sustain and expand the business for most of his working life. He and Reb Mendel forged a very close bond and special friendship that lasted for the duration of Reb Mendel’s life.

One of the many features of Reuven’s kabolas ol was his ever-present participation at the Rebbe’s Farbrengens. Even at 2:30 am UK time, he would bring all his children to listen to the shidur, the live broadcast from NY, and stand for the duration of the farbrengen. Then, at 6:30 am, he would daven and go forth with his day as usual.

The Solomon household was known for hosting weekly shiurim and became synonymous with Chessed with its “open-door policy” to all guests, especially welcoming visits from young, disenfranchised teenagers and adults seeking acceptance and comfort.

Reuven’s many special qualities set the bar high as a role model for his children, who looked up to him with reverence and love.

More than 20 years ago, Reuven retired and moved to Los Angeles to be closer to his children.

Subsequently, Congregation Levi Yitzchak became his new home. He adored the members of the Kehillah, especially the Rav, Rabbi Shimon Raichik a”h, as well as Rabbi Simcha Bart and Yosef Bukiet.

Reuven spent many hours in his beloved Shul, davening slowly, articulating, and enunciating each word. His davening was an inspiration for many. He was a constant participant and mainstay of the Daf Yomi, Chassidus, and many other shiurim. Once again, it was he who arrived at Shul before anyone else, opening the doors daily at 4:30 am, no matter the season.

Another trait that fueled Reuven’s life, but was unknown to many (including his children), was his acts of chessed. He gave tzedakah generously to various causes, always preferring to do so anonymously.
Modest in his attitude, Reuven shied away from any form of recognition or fanfare.

One of the highlights of Reuven’s blessed life occurred in 2018 when, on the occasion of his 80th birthday, his children and grandchildren commissioned a Sefer Torah in his honor. Although not one to seek the limelight, he enthusiastically participated in the magnificent Torah dedication ceremony and remained grateful to the many family, friends, and loved ones who came to participate in the celebration.

Because Reuven grew up in a very small, impoverished family, he often shared how thankful he was to the Aibishter that he was blessed to have a legacy of more than 100 children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, k”ah.

A man with a regal, handsome bearing, always smartly dressed but with a modest attitude, Reuven left a strong positive impression upon others. They felt uplifted by his broad smile, warmth, sincerity, great charm, and wonderful sense of humor.

He is survived by his wife Roberta, his children Dovid Solomon – Staten Island, NY; Raphy Solomon – Chashmonaim, Eretz Yisroel; Esther Gitlin – Markham, Ontario, Canada; Yossi Solomon – Los Angeles, CA; Zalman Solomon – Los Angeles, CA; Mendy Solomon – Short Hills, NJ; Levi Solomon – Sherman Oaks, CA; Shternie Mockin – Montreal, Canada; Sholom Ber Solomon – San Diago, CA; and a sister, Jaqueline Zilberman – Herzliya Pituach, Eretz Yisroel.

The Levaya will take place today – Tuesday in Los Angeles.

The Aron will be at Congregation Levi Yitzchok at 9:30 am for a few minutes and then continue to Mount Olive cemetery for burial at approximately 10:45 am.

In keeping in line with the Rabbonim's policies for websites, we do not allow comments. However, our Rabbonim have approved of including input on articles of substance (Torah, history, memories etc.)

We appreciate your feedback. If you have any additional information to contribute to this article, it will be added below.

  1. I really liked Mr. Solomon. His davening was such a highlight of my morning. Thank you hashem for letting me see such a chosid in Los Angeles in this time.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

advertise package