Rabbi Shlomo Bentolila, Director of Chabad of Central Africa, announced his intent to open a new Chabad center in Zambia in memory of his wife, Myriam, who passed away last week at the age of 52.
“She helped others quietly, without publicity,” wrote Rabbi Bentolila on Facebook, “She did things because it had to be done, without the need for fanfare. My heart cries, but we will prevail and continue her work, in her way of cultivating true everlasting values.”
The Bentolilas established Chabad of Central Africa in 1991, when they moved to Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo (then Zaire) at the directive of the Lubavitcher Rebbe. Today, Chabad is active all across central Africa, with permanent centers in Angola, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Rwanda, Nigeria and Uganda.
Located on the plateau of Central Africa, Zambia (pop. approx. 18,700,000) is Africa’s second largest copper producer after the Congo. The Jewish community that dates back to the early 1900s has mostly dwindled, but Chabad will be serving the many Jewish businessmen and tourists who flock the beautiful region.
“The passing of Mrs. Myriam Bentolila is a loss for the entire family of shluchim,” says Rabbi Yehuda Krinsky, Chairman of the educational and social services divisions of Chabad-Lubavitch. “May this new initiative, a merit to her soul, bring comfort to her family and the community she so lovingly served.