Rabbi Nachman Sudak, the man who built Lubavitch in the UK, has died aged 78.
Since his arrival here in 1959 as the personal emissary of the last Lubavitcher Rebbe, he dedicated his life to implementing the movement’s unique outreach ethos.
As principal of Chabad Lubavitch UK, he oversaw the creation of a network which now spans 25 Chabad Houses across the country, 11 campus centres and 14 schools.
His contribution was recognised nationally in 2001 when he was awarded the OBE.
Emeritus Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks said: "Rabbi Nachman Sudak guided the destiny of Chabad in Britain for more than 50 years, turning it from a marginal presence to one that affected tens of thousands of lives and changed the entire tone of Anglo-Jewry. Quiet, thoughtful and introspective, he was a man of passion and principle whose patient leadership was a major factor in the growth of the movement in this country. He was a man I greatly respected and admired, and it was a privilege to know him and be inspired by him."
Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis said that Rabbi Sudak "made a contribution of inestimable value to the landscape of Jewish life in the UK. He embodied the highest ideals of Chabbad and leaves behind an outstanding legacy for his wonderful family and numerous others to follow.”
Board president Vivian Wineman said that his legacy was "manifest in the extraordinary vibrancy that the Chabad movementhas brought to UK Jewish life. As you would expect from great scions of the Chabad Lubavitch movement like the Sudaks, his offspring have already helped to augment his life’s work."
Rabbi Sudak's wife Fradel is executive head of the state-aided Lubavitch junior schools, while his nine children include the chief executive of Chabad Lubavitch UK Rabbi Bentzi Sudak and the head of Edgware Lubavitch Rabbi Levi Sudak.
Rabbi Sudak was buried in Enfield Cemetery on Monday.