The Torah community in England and around the world was
stunned by news of the sudden passing of Rav Ben Zion Dunner
z"l, a leading Torah supporters known for his many
acts of tzedokoh and chessed, who died in a
tragic car accident on Motzei Shabbos parshas Zav, 16
Adar II, at the age of 45.
The niftar, who lived in Golders Green, had been
driving after midnight with three of his children from London
to Bournemouth. Just 10 miles short of his destination the
car swerved and crashed into a tree. Rescue workers rushed to
the scene, where a doctor declared him dead.
Ben Zion Dunner's father is Rav Aba Dunner ylct"a, who
served for years as general secretary of Agudas Yisroel of
Britain and now is the executive director of the Conference
of European Rabbis. His mother, Miriam, passed away one year
ago. His grandfather was HaRav Yosef Tzvi Dunner, who also
passed away nearly a year ago after serving as the
ravad of London and president of Agudas Yisroel of
As a young man Rav Ben Zion studied at Gateshead Yeshiva, and
he was also in close contact with the Manchester rosh
yeshiva, HaRav Yehuda Segal zt"l. Later he transferred
to Ponovezh Yeshiva in Bnei Brak, where he was highly
regarded by HaRav Shach, HaRav Dovid Povarsky and HaRav
Shmuel Rosovsky zt"l. After getting married he
maintained contact with the yeshiva, arriving for at least a
day of learning every year.
He married the daughter of R' Zeev (Willy) Stern. His mother-
in-law, is the granddaughter of the Admor of Bobov
Hy"d, the author of Kedushas Tzion.
The niftar gained an international reputation for the
enormous amounts of money he donated to hundreds of Torah
institutions around the world. On Taanis Esther and Purim
this year he handed out checks to thousands of needy people
who flocked to his home. Every Shabbos Night he would go to
the homes of lonely people to wish them a good Shabbos.
He made his home a "beis vaad lechachomim," often
hosting leading roshei yeshivos and admorim.
Every day he would learn with chavrusas, including his
uncle, HaRav Aharon Dovid Dunner, a dayan at Kedassia (the
Union of Chareidi Kehillos of London). He was also noted for
his uncompromising efforts to raise his children for Torah
Rav Ben Zion's sudden passing left a pall on London's Torah
community, where various Purim season events were cancelled.
The levaya set out Sunday afternoon from the
niftar's home in Golders Green, headed for the Adas
Yisroel Cemetery in Enfield, where he was buried near his
grandfather, HaRav Yosef Tzvi Halevi Dunner, who passed away
on Erev Pesach last year. Thousands arrived from London and
other parts of England led by roshei yeshivos, admorim
and rabbonim from the US and Eretz Yisroel.
The first eulogy was delivered by the niftar's uncle,
HaRav Shlomo Freshwater, the rov of Beis Knesses Sassov in
London, who spoke of his mesirus nefesh for Torah and
recalled the great joy radiating from his face this past
Moving words of parting were heard from the niftar's
father, HaRav Avrohom Moshe (Abba) Dunner. In a broken voice
he said HaKodosh Boruch Hu gave him a gift 45 years
ago and asked for mechiloh in the name of the entire
Rav Ben Zion Dunner z"l is survived by his wife, nine
children including a one-year-old daughter, his father, his
in-laws, and thousands of friends and acquaintances mourning
the sudden passing of a tzaddik with a pure and clean