April 16, 2024
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He lost his entire family in the Holocaust and survived the Plaszow and Mauthausen concentration camps, but in his 96 years Edward Mosberg helped rebuild the Jewish life lost by him and so many other Jews during the Shoah.

Mosberg, who died September 21, rescued, refurbished and donated at least 22 Holocaust Torahs, forged ties with Poland and spoke to countless young people about his Holocaust experiences.

“You don’t find many people who lived through and survived the Holocaust and remained strong in so many ways until literally the last days of his life,” said Rutgers Chabad Executive Director Rabbi Yosef Carlebach. “I was with him at the end of summer when he shlepped up to Rockland Community College and spoke with a group of students. He was on fire. His voice deepened and he became emotional, as if he was reliving it again. He refused to give up. He exercised regularly and watched what he ate. He was determined to live—and live for a purpose—and that was his desire to make sure our people never forget.”

Mosberg, a Morris Plains resident, was honored last October at the 43rd National Founders Day Dinner of Rutgers Chabad with its Ner Tamid Award for his global philanthropic work, preservation of Holocaust memory, Torah donations and support of Rutgers Chabad. During a portion of the event held outside Chabad House in New Brunswick, a cornerstone was dedicated in memory of his wife of 72 years, Cecile, an Auschwitz survivor he met in the camps.

Shortly after donating a 200-year-old Polish Torah to the Chabad synagogue at Ben-Gurion Airport in 2019, Mosberg said in a phone interview, “I have rescued 22 Torahs and made them kosher. I pay for them. No one gives me a penny. I’ve given two Torahs to Yad Vashem, one to the Israeli military, and to different schools and synagogues in New York and New Jersey.”

Because of his commitment to keeping the lessons of the Holocaust alive, Mosberg had visited Poland many times, participating in the March of the Living to Auschwitz and forging strong ties there over the years. So much so that his death was announced over Polish radio; officials of the Polish Consulate attended the Chabad dinner to honor him; and Polish President Andrzej Duda eulogized him at his September 22 funeral at Bernheim-Apter-Kreitzman Chapel in Livingston.

Rabbi Carlebach, who attended the funeral, said Duda and his wife had coincidentally been in New York to attend the United Nations General Assembly and had a previously scheduled meeting with Mosberg in the city.

“When he heard Ed had passed away he decided to forgo his schedule in New York and came to the funeral,” said Rabbi Carlebach, adding that the president announced upon returning to Poland he would be posthumously awarding Mosberg Poland’s highest civilian honor. During one of hs trips back to Poland, Mosberg was previously honored there by Duda.

Adrian Kubicki, the consul general of Poland, who presented Mosberg with his award at the Chabad dinner, had told the crowd attending that Mosberg had become “a great ambassador of Poland.”

Mosberg got his big break in America in 1954 when he was hired by Holocaust survivor brothers Harry and Joseph Wilf at Garden State Homes, a Short Hills real estate development company.

Over the years Mosberg spoke at schools, conducted educational programs for new recruits for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Police Academy and an awareness program for U.S. Customs and Border Patrol at Newark Liberty International Airport, which led the port authority police to grant him “VIP status” allowing Mosberg to be expedited through any port authority airport. Mosberg had also been invited to attend the opening of the American Embassy in Jerusalem.

He is survived by his daughters Bernice, Louise (Stuart) Levine and Caroline (Darren) Karger, six grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

Mosberg was buried at Mount Freedom Jewish Cemetery in Randolph. Contributions in his memory may to made to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum or Yad Vashem.

By Debra Rubin

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