Petirah of R’ Simcha (Joel) Bree Z”L

We regret to inform you of the Petirah of R’ Simcha (Joel) Bree Z”L, who was Nifter following a brief battle with cancer. He was 69.

R’ Simcha Z”L was born and raised in Lakewood, and hailed from the founding families of the Shomer Shabbos ‘Old Lakewood’ community. He grew up on Lexington Avenue and was tremendously influenced by the warmth of the pure Torah atmosphere created by Rav Aharon Kotler and Rav Shneur Kotler.

He was from the very first class of the Mesivta of Long Beach, and following learning in Torah Vodaas under Rav Pam, he studied in the Mir in Eretz Yisroel under Rav Chaim Shmuelevitz and Rav Nochum Partzovitz. R’ Simcha also maintained a very close relationship with the late Mirrer Rosh Hayeshiva Rav Nosson Tzvi Finkel. Although R’ Simcha preferred to keep a low profile as a working Ben Torah, he was known for his hasmada and passion for Torah learning.

R’ Simcha leaves behind his wife, Mrs. Cindy Bree, and his children: Avi Bree, Tzippy Hirschmann, Bracha Jacobowitz, and Tzali Bree.

The Levaya is scheduled to take place at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday at Sons of Israel Lakewood Chapel on 7th Street.

Shiva details will be forthcoming.

Baruch Dayan Ha’emes.

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  1. In addition to the children listed, R Simcha also has two Bree brothers that are part of the family. R Aaron who lives on Iris Road in Lakewood, and R Tzadok who lives in Brooklyn. He also had two older brothers who already passed away, R Eliezer Shmuel and R Yaakov. A very special family.

  2. Absolute gem of a person. Whoever saw him, always saw him with a smile. He lit the room with his simcha. A complete loss to Lakewood and to all of klal yisroel

  3. BD”E. R’ Simcha Z’L was an authentic ben Torah of old, leading a modest life of avodas Hashem. He followed in his parents Z’L’s footsteps.

    His father had a sewing supply store on Clifton Avenue, but he made Limud Torah his main occupation. His father was niftar while hunched over his shtender in the main bais medrash of BMG, suffering a heart attack while deeply engaged in learning. He went direct from the earthly bais medrash to the heavenly one.

    This is a family of beautiful tzadikim, may the entire family be consoled on their loss.

  4. There will be a zoom link at for those wishing to participate remotely in the levaya, starting today at 11:30 am.

    You are invited to a Zoom webinar.
    Dec 9, 2020 11:30 AM Eastern Time
    (US and Canada)
    Topic: Levaya of Reb Joel Bree

    Please click the link below to join the webinar:
    Passcode: 831831
    Or iPhone one-tap : 
    Or Telephone:
        Dial(for higher quality, dial a number based on your current location):
    +1 646 558 8656
    +1 301 715 8592
    +1 312 626 6799
    +1 669 900 9128
    +1 253 215 8782
    +1 346 248 7799
    Webinar ID: 878 8454 5156
    Passcode: 831831
    International numbers available:

  5. Mr Bree lived in Flatbush for a few years after he got married and was the gabbai of the Lakewood minyan of Flatbush during the 1980s. He was known to have an open door hachnasas orchim policy to his house and he and his wife often had many needy guests at the shabbos table, first in Flatbush, and then when he returned back to Lakewood again in the 1990s.

  6. Oish, what a loss. I was friendly with him from around town. I bought a cell phone from him a few years back. He was just the nicest, easiest guy to get along &/or shmooze with.

  7. Shiva is being observed throughout this week at the home of his daughter, the Jacobowitz family, located @ 5 Remon Lane in Lakewood. Shachris is @ 7:30 am and mincha/mariv is @ 4:20 pm. Beginning on Sunday morning, shiva will then take place at the Bree family home located @ 1007 Lexington Avenue.

  8. Mr. Bree was a treasure. He exuded a happiness and an easy calm that did not match today’s frenetic, stressed pace of life. I enjoyed meeting him around town and hearing a dvar Torah, joke, or just some wise advice. He will be missed.

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