Jacob J. Hecht

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Rabbi Jacob J. Hecht (1924-1990), known occasionally as Rabbi JJ, was the Lubavitcher Rebbe's right-hand man and translator, and a leading Chabad rabbi, educator, writer and radio commentator.[1]


Rabbi Hecht was born Yaakov Yehuda Hecht in Brownsville, Brooklyn, in 1924.[2][3] He was one of six brothers, all of whom became prominent Lubavitcher Chassidim. He received his rabbinical ordination from the Lubavitcher Yeshiva, and in 1947 was appointed head of Congregation Rabbi Meyer Simcha HaCohen in East Flatbush, a position he would hold for more than four decades.[4]


He was the spiritual leader of Congregation Meir Simcha Hakohen of East Flatbush and for 44 years was the executive vice president of the National Committee for the Furtherance of Jewish Education.[5] He was also dean of Hadar Hatorah Rabbinical College for Men that he founded along with Rabbi Yisroel Jacobson and the president of Machon Chana Institute of Higher Learning for Girls. He was also vice president of the Iranian Jewish Children's Fund and founder of the Ivy League Torah Study Program.[6] He was also the founder of the Released Time Program of Greater NY.


He wrote two books: Brimstone and Fire and Essays on Judaism.[1]


He was the official translator for Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, the head of the Lubavitch Chasidic group, during his radio discourses in Yiddish, and was a commentator on radio station WEVD-AM. He was featured in Rabbi Chaim Dalfins Book about noted Chabad Chasidim in the 20th Century [7]

Camp Emunah[edit]

in 1953 Rabbi J.J. Hecht received the blessings of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Shneerson to purchase a facility and operate the first overnight Lubavitch children’s camp in the world, Camp Emunah. Since its inception it has grown exponentially with more than 600 girls attending yearly it is more than a half a dozen different summer programs. Serving more than 100,000 girls over the last sixty five years.[8]

Hadar Hatorah[edit]

Among the innumerable projects he headed, helping Jews of all persuasions was his role in Hadar Hatorah, the world's first Yeshiva for people rediscovering their Jewish roots. Together with its beloved founder, Rabbi Yisroel Jacobson, Hecht played a pivotal role in the Yeshiva which was renamed Yeshivas Kol Yaakov Yehudah - Hadar Hatorah in recognition of his efforts and devotion to the Yeshiva and its students.[9]

Rabbi Hecht's Torah[edit]

In 2008 they started writing a Torah scroll in his honor.[10] It was completed in December 2010.


Rabbi Hecht had twelve children and more than a hundred grandchildren. Among the notable ones are:


  1. ^ a b "Obituary: Rabbi Jacob J. Hecht, Radio Broadcaster, 66". The New York Times. 1990-08-07. Retrieved 25 September 2017.
  2. ^ Jacobs, Berel (2010-07-21). "At The Rebbe's Side: On the 20th Yahrzeit of Rabbi Jacob J. Hecht". The Jewish Press. Retrieved 25 September 2017.
  3. ^ https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=100529059
  4. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3wBK0CMgJhc
  5. ^ http://www.ncfje.org/
  6. ^ http://iltsp.org/
  7. ^ http://www.shturem.org/index.php?section=news&id=64767
  8. ^ http://www.campemunah.com/templates/articlecco_cdo/aid/811276/jewish/The-Camp.htm
  9. ^ https://www.hadarhatorah.org/pages/faculty2.php
  10. ^ http://www.ncfje.org/templates/articlecco_cdo/aid/713302/jewish/The-Jacob-J.-Hecht-Sefer-Torah.htm

External links[edit]