On Sunday, June 21, 2014 friends and family gathered to pay their last respects to the righteous Mrs. Elka Braun, a 90 Year-Old Holocaust Survivor. The funeral was held in front of Congregation Yirei Hashem in Brooklyn, where many distinguished Rabbis & family members eulogized her. The Grand Rabbi Chezkel Roth followed by his son Rabbi Moshe Roth were lavish with their praise of Mrs. Braun who was an active participant of the Synagogue for the past forty years. Rabbi Gershon Tannenbaum, spiritual leader of Linden Heights and an Aleh Foundation Board Member commended Elka bas Moshe Haleivi for the legacy of true Faith and courage she maintained throughtout her entire ordeal in the Auschwitz Concentration Camps as a teenager. Her endless passion for mankind in need was exemplary. She was a sample of an Eishet Chayil (Woman of Valor) that linked us to the previous generations of her parents and grandparent’s rich lineage.
Mrs. Elka Braun was born to Moshe Haleivi & Yita Klein, very prestigious land-owners in a suburb named Siewa in Romania. In addition to taking care of many farms he was also a manufacturer of religious articles (tallis & tzizit). Mrs. Braun’s father, Moshe was lovingly called Moishe the Tzizis Macher and traveled statewide to provide the religious articles.
During the war, Hitler’s regime severely oppressed the Jews in Romania and they conquered territories and, Romanian soldiers carried out brutal pogroms. Troops herded at least 200,000 Jews from Bukovina and Bessarabia–who were considered Soviet traitors–across the Dniester and into miserable concentration camps where many starved or died of disease or brutality. During the war, about 260,000 Jews were killed in Bessarabia, Bukovina, and in the camps across the Dniester; Hungary’s Nazi government killed or deported about 120,000 of Transylvania’s 150,000 Jews in 1944. Despite rampant anti-Semitism, Mrs. Elka Braun and her father, Moshe Klein, her sister Sarah Ganz and her brother Nechemya Klein survived the war, while her mother Yita and her sisters Esther, Miriam Blima and her brother Meier perished in the war. http://countrystudies.us/romania/22.htm
After the war was over, Mrs. Braun married a close relative, Yaakov Braun, who she knew since she was a child and established their residence in Satmar, Romania where they were blessed with five children. Once the Jewish community in Satmar began to dissolve they realized that they needed to find a proper orthodox environment to raise their children,they immigrated to Israel. This was a very difficult change and they lived in dire poverty, impossible to survive and leaving them no choice but to seek a more comfortable life which led them to immigrate to Montevideo, Uruguay. While R’ Yaakov was a person accommodating all the needs of the Jewish Kehilah in Montevideo Mrs. Braun insisted in providing community services as well. She helped young mothers with household tasks and to cook for all festive occasions and Holidays for the needy in the community. In order to provide the best religious education for her young children the Brauns once again re-located to the United States.
Mrs. Braun worked tirelessly to help provide for the family for many years. When she was unable to physically work any longer she continued to be a constant ray of hope to all that were in her presence. Her door was open to all who needed a listening ear, and she constantly gave encouragement to those who had a heavy heart. She was very lavish with blessings to her fellow friends and family and put hope and joy on the faces of everyone who encountered her. Mrs. Braun was a giver in every sense of the word. Although she was of limited income she gave charity to the poor and was a generous donor and admirer of the work Aleh Foundation does for disabled children in Israel. www.alehfoundationusa.org
She is succeeded by close to two hundred grandchildren and had the merit that four of her grandchildren are grandparents already. May her holy soul be a blessing to all of mankind and to Klal Yisroel. All contributions in memory of Elka Braun should be sent to the Aleh Foundation 5317 13th Avenue Brooklyn, NY 11219. Please visit the website for more information:
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