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This Chabad Family Helped A Jewish Woman Fulfill Her Last Wish

Isolated in an assisted living facility in Peru, Ill., 100 miles from Chicago, Selma Rosenberg longed for a visit from a rabbi. On the day before her death, she finally got her wish.

According to News, Rosenberg had recently remarked to her friend Marcia that a visit from a rabbi would be very meaningful to her, since it had been a long time since she’d had any contact with the Jewish world. Marcia told Rosenberg’s niece Naomi, who reached out to Rabbi Chaim Telsner, a Chabad rabbi who co-runs the Chabad House at Illinois State University in Normal, more than 50 miles south.

When Telsner’s attempts to call Rosenberg went unanswered, he drove to Peru with challah baked by his wife Rochel and a pair of battery-operated Sabbath candles.

Rosenberg was overjoyed by the visit and the two spoke for a few hours. Telsner agreed to visit with his wife and children soon.

But it was not to be. The following night, after fulfilling her wish to light Shabbat candles and visit with a rabbi, Rosenberg passed away in her sleep.

Laura E. Adkins is the Forward’s contributing network editor. Contact her at or on Twitter, @Laura_E_Adkins.

This story "Chabad Family Helped Jewish Woman Fulfill Her Last Wish" was written by Laura E. Adkins.

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This Chabad Family Helped A Jewish Woman Fulfill Her Last Wish

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