Reb Heshy Jacob, z”l, president of Chevra Hatzolah, askan, and celebrated baal chessed, was niftar Thursday morning. He was in his early 70s.
The niftar was one of the leading lay leaders of the Jewish community of the Lower East Side of Manhattan.
Jacob, 71, was a neighborhood power player with a hand in much of the communal and business life of in Lower East Side.
As Jacob explained his own influence in a 2013 interview with the Forward: “If you’re the person that [if] somebody has a problem he goes to [you] day and night [and] you take the time and effort to help them, then they think you’re in charge.”
Jacob was building manager of two of the four red-brick co-op developments on Grand Street that remain a center of Lower East Side Jewish life, and was chairman of the United Jewish Council of the Lower East Side, a community group. He was also a leader in both the citywide and neighborhood Hatzolah Jewish ambulance services.
“For many decades, he really was the face of the Lower East Side,” said Jacob Goldman, president of LoHo realty, a local real estate business. “It’s a change of an era right now.
He was privileged to have a close relationship with many Gedolei Yisrael, and had an especially strong bond to the Rebbes of Kopyczynitz — Harav Avraham Yehoshua Heschel, zy”a, and his son, Harav Moshe Mordechai Heschel, zy”a — considering himself an ardent chassid of both.
He is survived by, ybl”c, his wife, children, and grandchildren.
Thelevayahis scheduled to take place Thursday, at 1:30 p.m. at the Bialystoker Shul on the Lower East Side.