Toby Willig, beloved Emunah leader, passes away in Jerusalem

Jerusalem and Emunah will miss the idealistic and indefatigable Toby, initiator of many projects and good deeds. Funeral details below.

Rochel Sylvetsky ,

Toby Willig passes away
Toby Willig passes away
צילום: thinkstock‏

Toby Willig, devoted volunteer and indefatigable leader for more than 70 years in Jewish organizations, particularly Israeli and American Emunah (the Religious Zionist Women's Organization) and Young Israel, has passed away at the age of 92 after a short period of hospitalization.

The funeral will be held tomorrow at 10 a.m. at the Shamgar Funeral Home in Jerusalem, with burial in the old section of Har Hamenuchot. Shiva will be at her home, 26 Chaim Vital Street, Givat Shaul, Jerusalem, until Wednesday.(

Toby grew up in an ardently Zionist home in New York City and began her volunteering at an early age. She held the challenging position of President of Emunah America, one of Emunah's largest and most active branch organizations, prior to her aliya.

In Israel, she was a board member of World Emunah and active in their public relations and travel initiatives, as well as a member of Jerusalem Emunah's Nava Tehilla chapter.

Toby, whose irrepressible idealism and keen intelligence were evident in everything she did, created and directed the popular Emunah Sunday NIght Special Seminars until shortly before she was hospitalized, finding interesting topics and excellent speakers that filled the Jerusalem branch of Israel Emunah each time they took place.

Toby was a prolific and excellent letter-to-the-editor writer (for an example click here.). Her name appeared whenever something in the news caused her to want to voice her no-nonsense right-wing, Zionist (see 1998 interview here) and religious opinions, sometimes using pen names so that her name would not appear too frequently. She was the first to comment at the end of lectures, never missing anything and continued to attend Rabbi Avraham Kowalsky's Torah shiur at the Israel Center in Jerusalem on Thursday nights, making incisive comments, even when in a wheelchair and weakened by medical issues as she was towards the end of 2017.

In November, 2017, Emunah of Jerusalem's annual concert at the Jerusalem Theater was held in her honor and sold out, with the funds donated in her name going towards the music therapy program in Emunah's Neve Lande children's home in Even Shmuel..

Her husband, Herbert Willig, z"l, who stood behind her in all her endeavors, passed away several years ago. Toby is survived by her daughter Ruth Koenigsburg and son-in-law and family, in whose building on Jerusalem's Haim Vital Street she resided in her later years, and by sons David A. Willig and Joey Willig, daughters-in-law and families who reside in the US. One of her grandsons, Gary Willig, is a writer for Arutz Sheva's English news site.