He was born in New Jersey, worked in the film industry, and even briefly on The Godfather. She was born in Hollywood, went to school with Michael Douglas and Frank Sinatra Jr., and went to the Peace Corps in Ghana.
This month, a Chabad-Lubavitch couple is being memorialized with the naming of their street block, where their family has lived since 1983, as a permanent legacy.
On August 26, residents of the Crown Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn will join elected officials to honor the memory of Michoel and Sarah Behrman as the street on their block is renamed “Sarah and Michoel Behrman Way.”
“I am proud to honor the legacies of Sarah and Michoel Behrman with this street co-naming. Their commitment to the Crown Heights community and their critical work to advance education and civil rights is a model for all of us as we aim to strengthen and improve our communities,” said New York City Council Majority Leader Laurie A. Cumbo, who was responsible for the memorial legacy.
Michoel and Sarah each had found their roots in Crown Heights while they were still young, with both becoming followers of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, now of righteous memory.
They also found each other, eventually married and raised a family — and a community — with Sarah working as an advocate, lobbyist and case manager at the Hebrew Academy for Special Children (HASC), and Michoel as Director of Operation Survival, a project to prevent substance abuse in the community, sponsored by NCFJE (National Committee for Furtherance of Jewish Education).
Both Sarah and Michoel saved hundreds of lives over the years, before they both passed away; Sara’s children grieved her loss a few years before losing their father Michoel, who followed his wife this past year.
“Even when illness confined her to a hospital room,” said Rabbi Yaacov Behrman, their son and current director of Operation Survival, “my mother continued to work remotely for those in her care.
“Even when some opposed him on the grounds that drawing attention to substance abuse would hurt the community,” Behrman said, “my father persisted, and with just a handful of people, went on to save hundreds of lives.”
May their memories continue to be the source of light, insight and inspiration to all who knew them.