Dear Family and Friends
We are so sad to inform you of the passing of our beloved Helen this past weekend. It was very sudden and unexpected, but at least she did not suffer and is now at peace. She played a massive role in all our lives, her family and friends were everything to her. We were blessed to be graced with a wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother like her, She was the glue for our family, the one who kept it all together. She was the most loving, elegant lady we’ve ever known and she will be deeply missed by us all.
Due to Covid restrictions, we are holding a small funeral service this Wednesday at 11 am California time. If anyone would like to watch via Zoom, below is the link.
Topic: Funeral of Helen Leib
Time: Mar 3, 2021, 11:00 AM Pacific Time (the US and Canada)
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 829 5403 4624
We are only doing one night of prayers, so if anyone wants to attend this via Zoom, below is the link. Note this is 6 pm California time on Wednesday.
A Zoom Shiva Minyan will be held on Wednesday evening, March 3rd, at 6:00 p.m.
You may attend the Shiva Minyan via this Zoom link:
Meeting ID: 891 0862 1873
Although so many of you from afar cannot be with us, we hope you can join us in celebrating Helen’s amazing life. Your kind words already received have been much appreciated by all the family.
Obituary by Robert, David and Anthony Leib
HELEN RUSSELL LEIB
Chanah bat Moshe u’Bayla
Our Mom was the quintessential English rose: born in the
heavily Jewish-populated suburb of Cricklewood in north
London on February 15, 1937, her last name, the distinctly
Jewish-sounding “Rubinstein” was subsequently changed to the
less conspicuous “Russell” by her father who feared a Nazi
invasion of England. She and her younger brother, our Uncle
Steve – like so many other Jewish children growing up in
London at the time – were spirited away and spent much of the
war years in the English countryside.
Sometime after completing high school, Mom received a
special invitation to visit her aunt and uncle in Cape Town,
South Africa, an event that would forever change the course of
her young life! No sooner had she arrived at the southern tip of
the African continent that she met Gerald Leib on a blind date
and the rest, as they say, is history!
Our parents were married, under Orthodox auspices, on
January 26th , 1958, in London, and shortly thereafter they
returned to Cape Town to start their new life, together.
Throughout their 63 years of marriage, Mom remained the
most selfless, giving, loving, and devoted wife, mother, mother-
in-law, grandmother, and new great-grandmother.
Together, our parents worked incredibly hard over the course
of so many years to build a family business that, today, is
admired and respected far and wide. Mom’s unbeatable work
ethic, her unfailing commitment to her family, and her
contribution to many worthy charitable causes left her with
little time for anything else but she and Dad were fortunate to
have traveled frequently abroad, enjoyed many cruises and
she personally witnessed – on two different occasions – three of
her nine grandchildren become bnai mitzvah at the Kotel in
Jerusalem. She was an avid reader, loved the movies, live,
outdoor concerts and orchestral programs, took yoga classes,
enjoyed her weekend walks with Dad at Sail Bay and La Jolla
Shores and had, admittedly, become somewhat of a Facebook
For the past 22 years, our parents enjoyed a wonderful and
comfortable life in La Jolla surrounded by their family and many
close friends. In addition, Mom insisted on maintaining regular
contact with far-flung relatives and lifelong friends throughout
the world and she had an uncanny penchant for remembering
Mom was the undisputed matriarch of the Leib family; she was
the proverbial glue that held us all together. She was the very
personification of an “ashes chayil,” a woman of valor.
Her sudden, unexpected passing in the very early hours of Sunday,
February 28th, 2021, just two weeks after her 84th birthday, has
left us all quite devastated. She liked nothing more than being
surrounded by loved ones on Erev Shabbes as she bensched
licht. Mom’s beauty and grace, her kindness and compassion,
and her gentle, sweet nature shone through the brightness of those
candles from one week to the next. We are forever bereft by
her sudden death but consoled that she didn’t suffer.
Zecher Tzadakket Livracha ~ May Mom’s righteous memory be
for an everlasting blessing.
Tehi Nishmatah Tzrurar b’Tzror HaChayim ~ May her dear,
beloved and precious soul be bound up in the bonds of