BDE: Rabbi Shmaryohu Katzen, A”H

By staff

With sadness, we regret to inform you of the passing of Rabbi Shmaryohu Katzen, a beloved pre-1A rebbi in Lubavitcher Yeshiva on Ocean Parkway and in Crown Heights for decades. He passed away Sunday, 22 Elul.

He was 76 years old.

As a bochur, Shmarya arrived at Hadar Hatorah. A while later, he was on his way to attend yeshiva in Montreal.

After his marriage, Rabbi Katzen was advised by the Rebbe to become a melamed. Soon after, he was hired by the Yeshiva on Ocean Parkway, a mission he was devoted to for the rest of his life. Thousands of young children went through his class, where they were given not only the basics of kriah, but a foundation of yiras shomayim. As a bonus, they also merited to observe a devoted chossid who exemplified keeping Torah and mitzvos b’hiddur.

Just last week, right before suffering a heart attack, r”l, Rabbi Katzen gave many children their hachnosa l’cheder at the All My Children Daycare Center in Crown Heights, as he had done for thousands of children over the years.

For some 40 years, he ran the mesibos shabbos programs for children in 770, something that began with much encouragement from the Rebbe.

All those decades of teaching never dampened his spirit and excitement. This year’s talmidim were welcomed by a rebbi who was no less enthusiastic than that of his talmidim from 40 years ago. Some of his new talmidim were children or even grandchildren of those earlier alumni.

He is survived by his wife Rivka, and children, Chani Laufer – Chevy Chase, MD, Mica Soffer – Crown Heights, Moshe Katzen – Crown Heights; Esther Malka Schlanger – Bakersfield, CA, Dini Simons – Crown Heights, Lieba Kahan – Crown Heights, Shaina Fine – Montreal, Canada, and grandchildren.

The levaya will pass by 770 at 12:00 pm, Monday. Shiva information will be posted as it becomes available.

Nichum Avelim

Feel free to share your memories of the niftar.

  1. He was my Pre 1A rebbe over 30 years ago. A real chassidishe yid. When I was older, I would watch him daven slowly and carefully, He was always full of simcha. A big yirei shomayim.

    When my sons were younger, I would take them to his legendary Mesibas Shabbos in 770. He ran it together with with his fellow melamed Rabbi Moshe Schwartz שי’.

    He will will sorely missed.

  2. Boruch Dayan Hoemes!

    Rabbi Katzen always brought a smile to his fellow Melamdim and all who met him! he was always positive and always talking about his students, the Rebbe, and bringing Moshiach! We will miss him plenty in Lubavitch Yeshiva and at the Mesibos Shabbos!

    Moshiach Now! Ad Mosai! (His two favorite songs!)

    His fellow Melamed from kita gimmel.

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