Sendy Goodman Remembers Yossie Yurowitz, A’H

A tribute to Yossi Yurowitz A”H

I had the privilege of being neighbors with Yossi Yurowitz both on my block and in shul for approximately 15 years. Over the last few months, I have been reflecting about the Yossi I knew and miss.

When people talk about Yossi A”H, people accurately refer to his accomplishments in the field of chesed. Whether through helping kids at risk or married couples drowning in credit card debt Yossi’s chesed was unparalleled. The reason this was unparalleled was because Yossi’s chesed wasn’t simply about throwing money at a problem or other band aid solutions. Yossi was someone who saw a root of a problem and was passionate about fixing the problems and not just the symptoms. His work in helping people during a very high debt crisis was unparalleled. It was done quietly without any fanfare.

While there are many that are involved in Kiruv Rechokim, Yossi saw the need to be mekarev krovim. The kids in Our Place who came from frum families, now on the verge of drug overdoses and other issues r’l, were turned around and given a second chance.

Yossi understood that the families that he rescued from credit card debt and home foreclosures were in dire need of a second chance. A successful second chance can only be achieved by correcting the problems resulting from the failed first chance.

Yossi had a tremendous appreciation for tefilla. He was very committed to tefilla btzibur in making sure to plan his travels around finding minyanim along his route. Moreover, he didn’t just believe in turning pages to be yotze. He was very into understanding the davening and believed very much in the theory that if people really understood the various parts of davening and what each section is about, then you would not have the issue of people talking during davening. I remember having conversations with him about Psukei Dzimra and Korbanos and it had a real change on my outlook. Again, just another way that Yossi identified a true problem in order to solve it.

I remember about 7 years ago, Yossi told me that he started learning the Malbim on the Haggada and I should learn it too. He said it will change your whole outlook on the seder. I went out and bought the sefer before pesach. The overarching theme of the sefer is that the whole Haggada is geared specifically to the “Shaina Yodea Lishol” and get them interested to ask. If a person has no interest and doesn’t ask, he won’t grow. The hagadda is geared towards solving this problem. This was Yossi. He understood the need to identify the problem and solve it. This was the common denominator between all the different chesed Yossi was involved in – the family in massive credit card debt, the father who has to worry about his house going into foreclosure, the child who has no interest in Yiddishkeit, the teen with his future ahead of him who is now limited to choosing between drugs and suicide, the layman who comes to shul and does it by rote. Yossi saw all this and devoted his life to solving these problems.

May Yossi be a Melitz Yosher to help us get through our individual problems. Yehi Zichro Boruch.

Sendy Goodman

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