By Anash.org writer
With deep sadness, we regret to inform you of the passing of the Rebbe’s secretary, Rabbi Yehuda Leib Groner, who passed away this evening, Leil Erev Pesach, 14 Nissan, after battling the coronavirus. He was 88 years old. His passing leaves all of anash in great mourning at a time when we have lost so many beloved members and leaders of anash worldwide.
Rabbi Groner was born in Brooklyn on 8 Iyar 5691/1931 to Reb Mordechai Avrohom Yeshaya and Menucha Rochel Groner, a”h. His mother was descended from the prestigious Slonim family; her grandmother was the Rebbetzin Menucha Rochel Slonim, daughter of the Mitteler Rebbe. His father had come here from Eretz Yisrael to raise funds for the Yeshiva Toras Emes in Yerushalayim.
As a young bochur, Leibel entered the Lubavitcher Yeshiva at 770, and a while later was asked by the Rebbe to join Kehos Publications, where he began to work with the Rebbe, who headed the institution.
After the Rebbe took the mantle of nesius, he joined the Rebbe’s secretariat under the guidance of Rav Chaim M.A. Hodakov. Already on Shabbos Yud Shvat 5710, the Rebbe asked him to stay close in case he’ll need something.
Over the next 44 years he never left the Rebbe’s side, serving devotedly and with little self-regard.
In 5714/1954, he married Yehudis Gurevitch, daughter of Reb Tzemach Gurevitch. Together they built a beautiful, chassidishe home that was a beacon of light in Crown Heights.
In the years since Gimmel Tammuz, Rabbi Groner had continued to work to inspire people of all walks, traveling great distances to inspire the large crowds that would gather to hear him.
In addition to his duties as mazkir, Rabbi Groner was also entrusted by the Rebbe with the job of editing several Kehos seforim, most notably the “Sefer HaMinhogim – Chabad” in 5727/1967.
A further tribute will follow, iy”h.
The Chevra Kadisha has requested that absolutely no-one attend the levaya, since it will be driving around Crown Heights. Kevurah will be attended by family members only. Anybody outside of the immediate family may not attend.
He is survived by wife: Mrs. Yehudis Groner and, children: Rabbi Yossi Groner – Charlotte, NC, Rabbi Mendel Groner – Kiryat Gat, R’ Aron Groner – Pomona, NY, Mrs. Gitty Levin – Ft. Lauderdale, FL, Mrs. Chaya Sandhaus – Crown Heights, Mrs. Sarah Tennenbaum – Crown Heights, and Mrs. Shaina Wilhelm – Crown Heights.