Funeral Service and Community Memories

We miss him greatly. Jacob passed away May 22, 2014 (22 Iyar 5774), beloved husband of Hilde, loving father of Michael and Susan Hennenberg, devoted grandfather of Debby and David Horowitz, and Julie and David Kronenberg, and cherished great-grandfather of Lily Sabina Kronenberg.  The above Service was held Sunday, May 25 at 11AM at the Berkowitz-Kumin-Bookatz Memorial Chapel. Interment at Zion Memorial Park near the Kol Israel Monument to victims of the Holocaust.

We will always remember the energetic, beautiful, talented Omi. She passed away June 9, 2015 (23 Sivan 5775) shortly after meeting her 2nd great-granddaughter, Hannah Jacoba, for the first time. The above Service was held Friday, June 12 at 11AM at the Berkowitz-Kumin-Bookatz Memorial Chapel. Interment at Zion Memorial Park near the Kol Israel Monument to victims of the Holocaust.

If you would like to add a memory to the list below, please contact us at

“I thought the world of Mr. Hennenberg. He was the kindest, most gentle man I have ever met! Many of my drapes and shades in my home came from Mr. Hennenberg’s drapery shop.” S.K. and B.K.

“Jacob was my teacher, friend and guide to the world of Jewish life before the Holocaust. We walked the streets of Oswiecim as he told stories of a wonderful boyhood. We spent non-stop long days in Cleveland reviewing his youth soccer team, religious studies, family and community life prior to 1939. He loved his country and culture and was a brilliant combination of cultures – a man who could always see the positive even in a horrible setting. His massive collection of information about the town of Oswiecim, 3 km from the Auschwitz concentration camp, became the core of the inaugural exhibition at the Auschwitz Jewish Center in Oswiecim. Without his generous input, artifacts, and deep understanding of life, death and the human capacity to continue life positively, this exhibition, and, indeed, the whole ethos of the Center, would be greatly diminished. All in all, just a great guy who taught many of us important life lessons.”  J.V.

“He took an incomprehensible nightmare and dedicated his life to repairing a  broken world through his tenacity, desire to educate and ultimately defeated his tormentors by maintaining his humanity, when he had every right to abandon it.  To me that is the most incomprehensible empirical fact of [Jacob’s] character.  What a remarkable legacy he has left you, your family and our community.  I trust you will find solace in the fact that [his] blessed memory is a light too bright for its beacon to ever be extinguished, and too warm to ever lose its comforting embrace.”  S.G.

“His dedication to the Jewish history of Oswiecim was unparalleled, and the collection of the Auschwitz Jewish Center would be much less than what it is today without his work to commemorate the town’s history.  Our ability to preserve the legacy of those who perished owes him an enormous debt of gratitude.  We hope you find some comfort in knowing that his story and that of his family will always be told at the Center, and that every day, new audiences in New York meet him through A Town Known as Auschwitz.”  D.M.

“I adored Papa.  Who could not?”  N.K.

“Mr. Hennenberg was one of the first community volunteers I met and worked with, when I moved to Cleveland in 1981 to work for the Jewish Federation.  He was a dedicated volunteer and helped me understand the complex issues of the survivor community, remembrance and education.  I greatly admired his courage, vision and determination.” H.R.M. and G.M.

“Jake was such a rare and lovable person.  I would always love a chat.”  G.F.

“[Jacob] was a great light in this world.”  R.Z.L and M.L.

“Jacob was a fine gentleman, carrying himself with great dignity.  He was a good example for all the liberated people in this area.  I was proud to know him.”  M.F.

“I believe [Jacob] represented the greatest generation of the Jewish people; those who not only survived the most horrific event in human history, but persevered and had the strength and faith to live with the memories of the past, while at the same time embrace life and give […] the gift of tradition, faith and love.”  P.F.

“Jacob will be greatly missed by all those who valued him as an artist, humorist, story teller, community leader, loving father and grandfather, survivor, and all-around mensch.”  A.B., J.L., J.B., L.G.

“His accomplishments will live on and on in our community and well beyond.”  J. and S.

“[Jacob] was a role model for the survivor community as well as their families. […] We feel honored to have known [him].”  R.M. and B.M.

“[H]e spent his life dedicated to educating so many about he Holocaust and social justice.”  C. and S.

“In 1989 I was honored to travel with Mr. Hennenberg on the Kol Israel Journey of Conscience.  As one of only 4 students invited to travel with the Survivors (and just a few weeks after High School Graduation), I was equal parts nervous and excited!  I had also never flown before…As we boarded the plane, I told Jacob how nervous I was and he took my hands and told me not to worry – we were flying on a 747 and since that equaled 18 we were going to be just fine!!  It was on that trip where I learned about his magnificent life and magical courage, and the stories of all the Survivors we traveled with.  He was a wonderfully sweet man and was generous with his story.  He helped me collect stamped postcards and ate pizza with us on a street curb in Poland.  I will never forget him or his number.  My birthday is 7/29, my husband’s is 10/8, and our house number is 5292.  The 18s have stuck with me all these years and I look for Chai wherever I go; and I remember boarding that airplane 25 years ago and all the stories and people I’ve been blessed with knowing.  May his memory be eternal.”  J.B.M.

“Jacob meant the world to [my son] therefore he was very important to us. […] He was so respected by us all.  He came to speak at Eastlake Middle when I was teaching there.  You could hear a pin drop when he spoke.”  C.F. and M.F.

“Jacob’s survival resulted in the gift of freedom for countless others.”  B.W.

“I didn’t have the chance to know him well or for long, but I feel blessed to have known him for the time we had.  I will remember him as a fine gentleman.”  N.G.

“He was a such a remarkable man.  I arranged several speaking engagements for him at North High School in Lake County.  Each time he spoke, the response was overwhelming.  We finally had to schedule attendance on a first sign-up basis and had to turn classes away due to the capacity of the auditorium.  It was a privilege and an honor to know an exceptional human being like Jacob Hennenberg.  He truly enriched the lives of so many.”  C. K.

“He was an extraordinary man who lived an extraordinary life.”  D.A.P.

“He was such a special man, doing so much to make the world a better place.  He will be missed by many!”  G. and M.

“It was a privilege to have known him.”  S.

“[T]he passage from Isaiah about “the just man” […] exemplifies [Jacob’s] legacy, and whenever I read it now, I will think of him and his story.”  E.R.

“We have known Jacob Hennenberg in many capacities.  Fist, as a wonderful draper who hung drapes in our mother’s home and ours.  Then, as a translator translating our mother’s letters that she received from her family in Poland after she alone was brought to America.  We knew him as a kind, soft spoken man […] He remains in the hearts of all of us – the survivors of our family’s ordeals.”  M.F. and M.S.

“When I was 13, I thought he was God.  As I grew older, I realized how silly that was and realized he was just an Angel.”  J.K.

“There was no one like Jake. Our family met him in 1965 when ordering draperies for our first home (apt.). Quickly we were drawn to this remarkable man with whom we remained friends for many years after. Thank you Jake for showing us that bitterness doesn’t “make it better.” Thank you Jake for touching so many lives in such a fulfilling and positive way.”  S.S.

“A gracious gentleman. I recall him very well even though we spoke infrequently. However, each occurrence was memorable and inspiring.” L.H.

“I will always be thankful for the generous welcome and sharing of Philatelic knowledge and Judaic stamp and covers items that Jacob Hennenberg gave to me so many years ago. As a novice in this “world”, it helped to open doors to this research hobby for me and will always be remembered.”  L.S. and H.S.

“I spent two weeks with Jacob in 1989 on a journey of conscience. I learned more life lessons in that time than my entire 43 year thus far.  What an amazing man .I am honored to say I spent time with him and he made the world a better place.  He will be missed.” S.P.

“I have met Beloved Jacob at Corky’s some 15 to 20 times, he was one of the sweetest and warm caring individuals I have ever met. I do not have words to describe what a loving kind spiritual man he was. I will never forget knowing him. He was exceptionally different. Somehow I know I will see him in the world to come, GOD had HIS hand on him when HE made him. Shalom Shalom beloved Jacob. Oh LORD create another light, because this one has gone out.Your eternal friend,” A.

“I was a neighbor of [Jacob’s] and always an admirer of his courage and his voice. It was an honor and privilege to know him.” J.F.

“[Jacob was] an inspiration and leader.” M.B. and I.B.

“He was a true hero and inspired many people with his words and writings.” I.R. and I.R.