Rebbetzein Kalmanson.jpgMrs. Shterna S. Kalmanson, a well-known Judaic educator, lived her life as an emissary of the Lubavitcher Rebbe to Southern Ohio and passed away on 11 Nissan, 5779, April 16, 2019.

Her husband of 50 years, Rabbi Sholom B. Kalmanson, and their children - 
many right here in the Southern Ohio region - continue to do her work as envisioned by the Lubavitcher Rebbe.

She was laid to rest in New York, near the resting place of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, to whom she dedicated her life.

Mrs. Kalmanson was born in Paris and grew up in Montreal where her family was among the founding members of the fledgling community of refugees from Hitler and Stalin. Her father, Rabbi Heshel Ceitlin, was a renowned mentor who studied courageously and suffered in underground Yeshivot during the rule of Stalin. He was the spiritual leader of the Montreal Chabad community, as well as a renowned traveling Mohel and Shochet. Her mother, Rebbetzin Riva is still active in outreach.

After her marriage to Rabbi Sholom B. Kalmanson, the couple was sent by the Rebbe on various assignments until their permanent assignment in Cincinnati, where they founded Chabad of Southern Ohio. She was a pioneer of Jewish outreach in Cincinnati and a strong driving factor behind strengthening Jewish identity in the Greater Cincinnati region for over 40 years. She served as a mentor and spiritual guide to many, inspiring so many to live life more fully.

She organized innovative programs, women’s classes, and seminars. Guests from every walk of life enjoyed her hospitality and famous cake-like challah recipe; many learned to bake Challah under her patient tutelage. She was also a dedicated Mikvah attendant at the Mei Menachem Chabad Mikvah, giving sensitive attention to each woman, and encouraging many to begin and sustain this practice. Friends across the spectrum of the community recall her gentle demeanor, love, and guidance.

Shterna was a source of joy, deep faith, and inspiration to so many, for so many years, with her gentle smile and generous heart. She is known for her Attitude of Gratitude and her gracious spirit, even during the last difficult weeks of her life. 

Rebbetzin Kalmanson walked the gratitude walk every day of her 69 years. During her five-year battle with cancer, she kept a gratitude journal, noting her thanks for simple things like water, a bed, as well as each moment of her life, her family, and more. She chose to fight with courage and determined optimism.


We learned from our mother, the consummate educator, that education comes from modeling. Our mother modeled humility, joy, and thankfulness. We caught it.

In keeping with her desire that she not be mourned but rather celebrated through the dictum “The living should take to heart,” we learn from her and treasure every moment as an opportunity to learn, grow and give. Her mentor, the Lubavitcher Rebbe, taught that all our loved ones who have passed, are in a good place. We can send them gifts which bring them great pleasure, by doing Mitzvot in their honor. 

Please join us and “send gifts” in memory of our dear mother who passed away in her prime. Consider dedicating sections of this Torah to the memory of your loved ones, as well. You can, furthermore, celebrate special life cycle events in your family through a dedication in Shterna’s Torah. 

We ask that you continue her legacy by partaking in the special Mitzvah of writing a Torah Scroll in her memory and perpetuate her life’s work in Cincinnati.


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