Rabbi Chaim Aaron Wakslak zt”l

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It is with great sadness that Matzav.com reports the sudden passing of Rabbi Chaim Aaron Wakslak zt”l, rov of the Young Israel of Long Beach in Long Beach, NY.

Rabbi Wakslak was a longtime fixture in the Long Beach community and served as the clinical director of the Hebrew Academy For Special Children (HASC).

Rabbi Wakslak’s dedication to his mispallelim and other community members was extraordinary. There was nothing he wouldn’t do to help others, whether it was in the realm of education, parnassah, shidduchim or other forms of guidance. Rabbi Wakslak left an indelible mark on all his congregants and the broader community.

Rabbi Wakslak had a long and distinguished rabbinic career. He received semichah in 1970 from Rav Gedaliah Schorr zt”l at Yeshiva Torah Vodaas in Brooklyn, where he learned for over 12 years. Rabbi Wakslak then started his rabbinical career as an assistant rabbi to Rabbi Eli Chaim Carlebach in Hillside, NJ.

Following his marriage to his wife, Rivka, nee Morgenstern, in 1972, he moved to Belle Harbor, NY, where he served as the rov of Young Israel of Belle Harbor for 14 years. During his tenure, a new shul and mivkah were built, and he was instrumental in the establishment of Yeshiva Mercaz HaTorah of Belle Harbor.

In 1986, Rabbi Wakslak assumed the position of rov of Young Israel of Long Beach, where he served for over three decades. He revitalized the neighborhood with a host of innovative programs, constructed a new shul building, built a new mikvah, and established a vaad hakashrus. Rabbi Wakslak established the only Daf Yomi shiur in the neighborhood at the time and delivered a Daf Yomi shiur for over two decades.

Rabbi Wakslak received a PH.D in clinical psychology from Hofstra University in 1974 and was a New York State licensed clinical psychologist. He served as a clinical director and administrator of the Brunswick Pysical Medicine and Rehabilitation Hospital in Amityville, where he specialized in clinical neuropsychology for over 20 years. He also served as a consultant to Bais Ezra/Ohel, the New York State Department of Education and the New York State Department of Disability Determinations.

Following Superstorm Sandy, Rabbi Wakslak and his wife, Rivka, were commended by the New York State Assembly for the outstanding assistance they provided to the community. The Assembly released a statement at the time which read in part, “Their heroic and extraordinary contributions toward the recovery in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy were truly remarkable and will long be remembered. … Rabbi Chaim and Rivka Wakslak were initial responders and continue to assist in the recovery efforts. …Rivka Wakslak, the rabbi’s wife, checked on people, including elderly citizens, and the synagogue provided food, water and and kosher meals to those in need.”

Rabbi Wakslak is survived by his devoted rebbetzin, Mrs. Rivka Wakslak, and his children, Dr. Menachem Wakslak of Los Angeles, Dr. Mordechai Wakslak of Lakewood, and Mrs. Yaeli Rosenberg of Queens. He was predeceased by his daughter, Mrs. Avigail Rechnitz a”h, wife of Reb Yisroel Zev Rechnitz.

The levayah was held today at Young Israel of Long Beach on Long Beach Boulevard in Long Beach. After Shabbos, the aron will be flown to Eretz Yisroel for kevurah there.

Yehi zichro boruch.

{D. Stein-Matzav.com Newscenter}

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