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Passaic Mourns the Loss of Devorah Stubin z”l

The Passaic/Clifton Jewish community mourns the loss of Devorah Stubin, age 22, who was reported missing on Thursday night, January 14. Her body was pulled January 16 from the Passaic River after a momentous volunteer search.

A graduate of YBH in Passaic and a former student at Bruriah High School, Stubin graduated from Ateres High School and was remembered by her teachers as gentle and sincere, exuding commitment and passion in all she did. In a statement from the Jewish Education Center, which houses Bruriah, Stubin’s teachers recalled her love of learning Torah and the pride she took in leading a life of Torah and mitzvot. Her expressions of hakarat hatov to her teachers and all those with whom she interacted characterized her wonderful and special neshama. In a statement from YBH, Stubin was “remembered as a young lady whose pleasant demeanor and genuine smile was ever present. She was a determined and passionate young woman with a focus on helping others.”

The family are members of Beis Torah O’Tefila (BTU) on Aycrigg Ave. in Passaic, which is led by Rav Menachem Zupnik.

Stubin had been driving to pick up her brother from the Brookdale Rest Area on the Garden State Parkway. The distance from her home was six miles. She was ticketed by a Maywood, NJ, police officer for driving with her lights off shortly after setting off. At that time, she asked for directions back to the Garden State Parkway. Calling her mother, distressed, her mother told Stubin to use the GPS and go directly home.

Uncharacteristically, Stubin did not return home or answer her cell phone. Stubin’s parents, Avrohom and Shoshana, kept on calling the cell phone to no avail.

A full search was initiated by Passaic Hatzolah by Friday afternoon. Chaverim of Rockland County headed the search, due to having had experience with missing person searches, while Boro Park Shomrim set up a command post, with Maywood Police Department’s full cooperation. Starting Friday night, over 500 volunteers from a two dozen Jewish organizations participated in the search throughout Shabbat. All the poskim consulted gave permission for the volunteers to violate Shabbat to help save Stubin’s life. Approximately two thirds of the volunteers were from Passaic with the rest coming from (besides Rockland Chaveirim) Lakewood Chaveirim, the Hatzolohs of Rockland and Union Counties and the Shomrim groups of Boro Park and Williamsburg.

At 3:45 PM on Shabbat, business owner Brian Warner noticed a section of his parking lot fence, on Midland Ave. in Wallington, knocked over. He then noticed fragments of a sunroof on the incline to the river, so he called the police. The car was found in the river shortly thereafter.

There was an overflow crowd of close to 1,000 people at Stubin’s funeral. The service was held at Jewish Memorial Chapel in Clifton and the burial at King Solomon Cemetery in Clifton.

The Passaic/Clifton community is raising funds to purchase a Hatzolah ambulance in Stubin’s name. Please visit The Devorah Stubin Memorial Ambulance Fund at http://www.devorahsambulance.org or send contributions to BTU at 218 Aycrigg Ave., Passaic, NJ 07055.

By Shmuel Landesman and JLNJ Staff

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