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Chabad-Lubavitch Mourns Senior Representative to Nashville

By , Lubavitch Headquarters

The international Chabad-Lubavitch community mourns the passing Tuesday, of Mrs. Risya (Didi) Posner of Nashville, TN.

Mrs. Posner, 80, a senior Chabad representative—one of the first Shluchim—was the daughter of one of the leading figures of the Chabad movement in the U.S.,  Rabbi Shlomo Aron Kazarnovsky, and the granddaughter of a renowned Chasidic personality, Rabbi Asher Grossman of Nikolayev.

Born in Brooklyn, NY, Mrs. Posner settled with her husband, the noted author and translator of Chabad Chasidic classics, Rabbi Zalman Posner in Nashville, where he had gone prior to his wedding to take up a rabbinical position on the instructions of Rabbi Joseph I. Schneersohn, the sixth Chabad-Lubavitch Rebbe.

Dedicating herself entirely to the values of Chabad, Mrs. Posner was a pioneer for Jewish education in Nashville, establishing the Akiva Academy Hebrew Day School in the 1950s, which continues to serve the community to this day. She later opened a Chabad preschool, and led it until just about two years ago, when her health began to fail.

“My mother-in-law was truly a woman worthy of emulating,” Chaya Posner, her daughter-in-law, Chabad representative to Rancho Mirage, CA, told Lubavitch.com.

Described as being both genuinely modest and remarkably driven so that even in her late 70s, she taught herself to use the computer, Mrs. Posner was “representative of historical Chabad and yet was so contemporary.”

Mrs. Posner had the distinction of being one of the few Chasidim of recent times who recalled meeting the sixth Rebbe in her childhood, and possessed a historical perspective on many of the milestones within the Chabad-Lubavitch movement.

“She was an amazingly brilliant woman,” said her son-in-law Rabbi Yonasan Denebeim, Chabad representative to Palm Springs, CA. “She had invaluable insights to the Chabad Chasidic worldview as well as matters pertaining to the world at large.”

Mrs. Posner is survived by her husband, Rabbi Zalman, and her children: Shifra Deren of Stamford CT;  Menachem Mendel Posner of Atlanta, GA; Sussi Denebeim of Palm Springs, CA; Mimi Liberov of Porto Alegre, Brazil; and Shimon Hillel Posner of Rancho Mirage, CA. She is also survived by a sister, Mrs. Riba Sharfstein of Cincinnati, Ohio.

Compounding the sadness is the passing of Mrs. Posner’s brother, Rabbi Moshe Kazarnovsky, several hours later, on Tuesday, following a long illness.

Condolences to the Posner family may be emailed to posnash@gmail.com

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