Young mum's shock death

October 7, 2010
Esther Cohen,who died on Sunday, seen here with her husband Mendel and three of her six children

Esther Cohen,who died on Sunday, seen here with her husband Mendel and three of her six children

A young mother of six who was a leading Lubavitch emissary in Manchester died on Sunday just five weeks after giving birth to a baby boy.

More than 400 people attended the funeral on Tuesday of Esther Aidel Cohen, 33, whose husband heads Broughton Park's Chabad Beis Menachem Synagogue and Lubavitch Boys Primary School.

Mrs Cohen, of Broughton Park, died at North Manchester General Hospital, where she had been in intensive care following the birth of her child, named Avraham Tzvi. Her death was thought to be unconnected to the pregnancy.

Rabbi Yitschok Klyne, senior dean at Salford's Lubavitch Yeshivah and a family friend, said the death had shocked the whole Lubavitch community.

He described Mrs Cohen as "very well liked, an unassuming character, very well respected and very sorely missed.

"The family are very central to Salford Lubavitch activities and the whole community. Mendel is a student of mine and we are all devastated."

Mrs Cohen, who was born in New York State, is from an illustrious Lubavitch family: her grandparents helped found Jewish outreach activities in America and Canada.

She came to Manchester over five years ago with her husband,
Rabbi Mendel Cohen, after he gained rabbinic qualifications in Melbourne, Australia. Manchester-born Rabbi Cohen, whose father heads Salford's Lubavitch Yeshivah, returned to Manchester to become the principal of the 60-pupil Lubavitch Boys' School.

The couple became popular communal figures, founding an outreach synagogue known as The Minyan in the Salford Beis Menachem building.

Family friend Rabbi Yossi Chazan, of Prestwich's Holy Law Synagogue, said words could not describe the tragedy.

"Esther was reserved, gracious and very God-fearing and built a beautiful family," Rabbi Chazan said. "She was an aristocrat of the spirit, but at the same time very devoted and always behind her husband in the running of the shul and the school. She sacrificed a tremendous amount for these communal organisations."

Mrs Cohen is survived by her husband and their six children, Moishe, 10, Mushka, 9, Rivka, 7, Chana, 4, Yechiel, 2, and five-week-old Avraham Tzvi.

Last updated: 11:22am, October 8 2010