Mrs. Winnie Gourarie, 88, OBM



    Mrs. Winnie Gourarie, 88, OBM

    We are saddened to inform you of the passing of Mrs. Vichne (“Winnie”) Gourarie, the matriarch of a Chabad family who was devoted to Mivtza Neshek and a role model to many in her community in Johannesburg, South Africa • Full Story

    Mrs. Vichne (“Winnie”) Gourarie, of Johannesburg, South Africa, passed away this morning, Friday, 3 Cheshvan 5783.

    She was 88.

    Mrs. Gourarie was born in the chassidishe town of Dokshitz, to her parents Rabbi Yirmiyohu and Rochel Leah Aloy. Rabbi Aloy was a Chossid of the Freidiker Rebbe and Talmid Chochom of stature, who later went on to serve as a leading and beloved Rov in Johannesburg.

    In August 1939, two weeks before World War II broke out, Winnie immigrated to South Africa at the age of 5 years, together with the rest of her family.

    As a young woman, Mrs. Gourarie spent a period of time first in Eretz Yisroel and then the USA, where she became engaged to Rabbi Sholom Ber Gourarie. Following their marriage in Johannesburg, the couple moved to Cape Town where she served as the Rebbetzin of a small Chabad congregation, before later permanently settling back in Johannesburg. In the more than half-century in Johannesburg, Mrs. Gourarie went on to become one of the leaders of Neshei Chabad and a role model to many.

    Mrs. Gourarie would often proudly relate what the Rebbe had told her husband when he first met her and was unsure about continuing the shidduch: “Nit nor vellen di inyonim fun Chabad ba ir zich opleigen, nor di inyonim fun Shpitz Chabad.” “Not only will the ideals and principles of Chabad be a given with her, but even the ideals of Shpitz Chabad [ideals and values of Chassidim of great stature]”. Indeed, she was universally known as a proud Lubavitcher, devoted to Mivtza Neshek, and a faithful supporter of all Chabad activities.

    Besides for many private audiences and letters that she received from the Rebbe, she also enjoyed a personal relationship with Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka OBM, a zechus she deeply cherished.

    Mrs. Gourarie was also known for her unwaveringly positive attitude and Simchas Hachayim, her intelligence and her appreciation for history and culture.

    She is survived by her children Esti Fogel – Ottawa, Canada; R’ Michoel Gourarie – Sydney, Australia; R’ Avremi Gourarie – Crown Heights; Chana Labkowski – São Paulo, Brazil, along with many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

    She is also survived by her sister Mrs. Batya Kurtzag, currently in Yerusholayim.

    She was predeceased by her husband, Rabbi Sholom Dov-Ber Gourarie and eldest son, R’ Yossi Gourarie of Postville, Iowa.

    Shiva Information:

    Michoel Gourarie and Chana Labkowski will both be observing Shiva in Johannesburg, while Esti Fogel and Avremi Gourarie will be sitting Shiva at their homes In Ottawa, Canada, and Crown Heights respectively.

    May her memory be a blessing.

    Minyonim For Avremi in Crown Heights:
    1101 Lincoln Place
    Shachris: 8:00am
    Mincha: 5:15pm
    Ma’ariv: Bizmano


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    Mrs. Winnie Gourarie, 88, OBM