Yitzchok Dovid Groner
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Born in New York, United States to a Hassidic family (his brother Leib Groner was one of the secretaries to the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson), he arrived in Melbourne, Australia for the first time in 1953 at the bidding of the prior Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchok Schneersohn, and began his position officially in 1958.
He has been referred to as one of the pioneers and builders of the Melbourne Jewish community. He was also known for his Talmudic erudition, his sermons and rousing High Holiday cantorial services (chazzanut) in the Yeshivah synagogue, specifically Ne'ilah.
He had numerous children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, who live both in Australia and overseas.
On 18 May 2008, he explained at a Shabbat gathering that he was the forerunner and organiser of the Lag B'Omer Parade in 1942 and personally arranged the event as a request from Rabbi Yosef Yitzchok Schneersohn. Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson spoke for the first time in a public fashion at that gathering and Rabbi Groner suggested that somebody should take notes. In fact, the entire talk is available today thanks to Rabbi Groner.
On the occasion of his 80th birthday, then-Prime Minister John Howard said
|“||His service to the spiritual needs of countless members of the Jewish community, as rabbi, mentor, counsellor, or friend, has seen him develop the enviable reputation as the people's rabbi.||”|
He was survived by his wife, Rebbetzin Devorah, and his children:
- Rabbi Sholom Ber Groner (South Africa)
- Rebbitzen Miriam Telsner
- Rebbitzen Shterna Zirkind (Crown Heights, New York)
- Rabbi Yossi Groner
- Rebbitzen Chaya Haller (South Africa)
- Rabbi Chaim Tzvi Groner
- Rebbitzen Rivkah Yurkowicz
- Rabbi Mendy Groner