Eulogy for Rabbi Aaron D. Panken, Ph.D.

May We All Be Disciples of Our Aaron

Rabbi Rick Jacobs and Rabbi Aaron Panken, z"l

This past weekend, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR), the Reform Movement’s seminary, announced that President Rabbi Aaron D. Panken, Ph.D., age 53, died tragically in the crash of a small plane he was piloting on Saturday, May 5. He served as the 12th president in HUC-JIR’s 143-year history. What follows is the eulogy Rabbi Rick Jacobs, president of the Union for Reform Judaism, delivered at Rabbi Panken’s funeral earlier this week.

I first met Aaron Panken at HUC-JIR in the late 80s when I interviewed him to be my rabbinic intern at the Brooklyn Heights Synagogue. Based on his resume, I tried to figure out what he was like; a degree in electrical engineering from Johns Hopkins? Really? If I was looking for a guy to run the AV equipment maybe, but I also saw that he played guitar, had been a NFTY advisor and so much more. This guy was either a complete misfit or he was one extraordinarily multi-faceted human being.

In five minutes, I knew I was in the presence of a brilliant and immensely personable future leader of our people. And when I learned that Rabbi Jack Stern had just interviewed him to be the rabbinic intern of Westchester Reform Temple (WRT), I knew there was no chance he’d take our job. And, as a former WRT intern myself, I told him he’d be crazy to work with anyone other than Rabbi Stern. I knew at that moment that if I was really lucky one day, I might get to work closely with this remarkable person.

The Torah teaches that: “Aaron shall carry the names of the children of Israel on the breast piece of decision over his heart….” (Ex 28:29)

Midrash Tanchuma elaborates: “When Aaron had to make a decision regarding a fellow Israelite, he was to consult not only the rule book but his heart as well….” (Tanchuma Sh’mot 27)

Aaron Panken was cut from the same cloth as our ancestor; the depth of his heart matched, if not exceeded, the breadth of his brilliant mind. In the past few years Rabbi Panken has not only recruited, taught, mentored, ordained, and graduated a new generation of Jewish leaders, but, more significantly, he has modeled for each of them how to live a Jewish life of depth and integrity, embodying instead of merely espousing our Torah’s timeless teachings. Greatness and goodness flowed forth from this remarkable man.

I was blessed to have Aaron as a close friend and, until six years ago, to be the rabbi of his family’s congregation. It was on this bimah that Aaron dazzled WRT with incisive and provocative readings of our sacred texts, especially the Book of Jonah each Yom Kippur. It was here that Eli and Sam lovingly received Torah from their parents and grandparents and at URJ Eisner Camp and on our URJ EIE Heller High semester in Israel they deepened their own Jewish journeys. Before I had the chance to work with Aaron, I had the supreme blessing to work closely with his amazing wife Lisa Messinger during her years as president of WRT. Lisa, by the way, was very timid at first and I take pride in having helped her come out of her shell.

Fast forward. I was invited to lead the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) and in 2014, Aaron became the president of HUC-JIR. What a blessing it has been to work so closely with Aaron. There was only one other time when the Union and the College were more closely aligned and that was at the beginning, when Isaac Mayer Wise held both positions simultaneously.

Aaron Panken didn’t enter our Reform Movement through the front door. Three weeks ago, at our Scheidt Seminar in Atlanta, Aaron shared with 87 incoming congregational presidents how he came to Reform Judaism.

He shared: “It all began when I was in the fifth grade. Inexplicably, one afternoon as I walked home from school in Manhattan, I entered the Lincoln Square Synagogue, an Orthodox congregation on Amsterdam Avenue.”

“I’d like to go to religious school,” I told the receptionist. The next thing I knew, the cantor appeared and asked, “How can I help you?”

“I’d like to go to religious school,” I repeated. “That’s lovely,” he said. “Could I talk to your parents about that?”

Sitting him down later that day, his parents, Peter and Beverly, said, “Aaron, we’d prefer that you go to a place where what they teach is a little closer to what we believe.”

And so, starting at age 11, Aaron attended religious school at New York’s Stephen Wise Free Synagogue. Rabbi Sally Priesand, our movement’s first woman rabbi officiated at his bar mitzvah and the rest is as they say history. Thank God we didn’t have our specialty camps back then because Aaron would have been a stand out at 6 Points Sci-Tech and Lisa would have been a champion at 6 Points Sports, but luckily, they found each other at URJ Eisner Camp in Great Barrington, MA.

Aaron knew from his experience and his vision that Reform Judaism is truly a movement, not merely a collection of organizations and his leadership covered every part of it. You could have dropped him into any role anywhere in our movement – camp, campus, youth group, pulpit, scholarly seminar, social justice rally, Israel, chaplaincy, you name it; he possessed all of God’s leadership gifts especially humility and kindness.

Aaron didn’t just write about justice. In March 2015, at the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of Bloody Sunday, a watershed moment in the Civil Rights Movement, Rabbi Panken spoke in Selma, Alabama, in front of 400 activists, including Reverend William Barber, Dr. Susannah Heschel, Peter Yarrow, Rabbi Jonah Pesner and host of other leaders in the battle for equality. Aaron said:

We remember the period’s frightening moments when unabashed hatred battered the good and robbed people of life and opportunity; when authorities who we looked to for leadership, morality and fairness used their immense influence for evil and not for good, and when the powerless suffered mightily at the hand of those who held them down.

And Aaron’s love of Israel was full throated and constant. The new Taube Family Campus at HUC-JIR in Jerusalem represents his deep commitment to expanding and intensifying the place of Israel in our movement.

When 16-year-old Shira Banki was murdered during the Jerusalem Pride march three years ago, Aaron reached out to the Banki family and in partnership with the U.S. embassy created a program that brings together teachers and their young students to learn about the different groups living side-by-side in Jerusalem. These educators who are Jews and Arabs, Christians and Muslims, religious and secular, have to face the fear of the “other,” the stereotypes, and sometimes the hatred. Aaron knew it was not enough to hope for peace.

This past November during the HUC-JIR Board of Governors meeting in Jerusalem, Aaron ordained the 100th Israeli Reform rabbi, signaling the transformative impact the College-Institute has had in shaping a more inclusive and pluralistic Israel. Aaron has modeled sacred partnership with the College-Institute’s lay leadership and especially with his board chair, Andy Berger. Andy and Aaron were always in synch, always deeply respectful of each other.

And if you think Aaron was only a gentle, mild mannered individual, you should have seen him assertively carry a Torah scroll past the security guards as we entered the Kotel (Western Wall) plaza to finish our celebratory prayer service in honor of the four newest Israeli ordinees. Not only did Aaron proudly carry the Torah, he plumbed its deepest layers and lived its most demanding imperatives.

Our tradition commands us: “Raise up many disciples.” (Pirkei Avot 1:1)

Many attempt, and some succeed but only a few, including Rabbi Aaron Panken, have their disciples spread out around the world. Pirkei Avot doesn’t only want many disciples; it specifies which kind; it says, “Be disciples of Aaron.”

And how do Aaron’s disciples conduct themselves? Do they only sit in the academy studying all day and night?

No, the disciples of Aaron spend their days “loving peace and pursuing peace, loving their fellow creatures and bringing them close to the Torah.” (Pirkei Avot 1:12)

Today, this sanctuary and our movement overflow with the many disciples of Rabbi Dr. Aaron Panken, especially Aaron’s beloved sister, Rabbi Melinda Panken. The biblical Aaron and our Aaron inspire us to bring many others to the deep water of Torah and from there, find strength and inspiration to pursue peace and love all of God’s children – not just the ones who are just like us.  Indeed, that was Aaron Panken’s way. May we all be disciples of our Aaron; may we never stop teaching and living his Torah.

In the Talmud, there are some sages who are simply irreplaceable: “Woe to those who are lost and cannot be replaced.” (Sanhedrin 111a)

Today we are the ones who are lost, and Rabbi Aaron Panken is the one who cannot be replaced.

Remembering Rabbi Aaron D. Panken, 12th President of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, Z”L


Saturday, May 5, 2018

Rabbi Aaron D. Panken, Ph.D., President of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute (HUC-JIR), died tragically in a plane crash on May 5, 2018, at the age of 53. He served as the 12th President in HUC-JIR’s 143-year history.

Dr. Panken led the four-campus international institution of higher learning and seminary for Reform Judaism. HUC-JIR’s campuses in Cincinnati, Jerusalem, Los Angeles and New York provide the academic and professional training programs for the Reform Movement’s rabbis, cantors, educators, and nonprofit management professionals, and offer graduate programs for scholars of all faiths. HUC-JIR’s 4,000 active alumni serve the Reform Movement’s 1.5 million members and nearly 900 congregations, representing the largest Jewish denomination in North America, and the growing Progressive Movement in Israel and around the world.

Funeral services will take place on Tuesday, May 8, at 1:00 pm at Westchester Reform Temple, 255 Mamaroneck Road, Scarsdale, NY. We are coordinating bus transportation for the HUC-JIR community, leaving from HUC-JIR/New York at One West Fourth Street, New York, NY 10012 at 11:00 am, and returning to HUC-JIR/New York following the funeral. Registration is required to ensure we have enough buses. Please register at by 5:00 pm on Monday, May 7. A live webstream of the service will be available on the Westchester Reform Temple website at

Rabbi Panken was a distinguished rabbi and scholar, dedicated teacher, and exemplary leader of the Reform Movement for nearly three decades. As a product of the Reform Movement’s camps, youth movement, and seminary, his passionate commitment to Reform Judaism, to the State of Israel, and to the Jewish people worldwide inspired his efforts to ensure HUC-JIR’s academic excellence in fulfilling its sacred mission. As HUC-JIR President, Rabbi Panken implemented his transformative vision by forging strategic planning initiatives: embedding new technology in support of student learning and administration, strengthening recruitment to yield the largest incoming classes in a decade, launching new Jewish education, nonprofit management, and entrepreneurship programs and academic partnerships, and invigorating the ties linking HUC-JIR’s four campuses in Cincinnati, Jerusalem, Los Angeles, and New York and their larger communities and regions. He was a staunch advocate for religious pluralism in Israel and was proud to have ordained the 100th Israeli Reform rabbi graduating from HUC-JIR’s Israeli Rabbinical Program on November 16, 2017. It was his vision to renovate and transform the Jerusalem campus into a dynamic educational and cultural center for the larger public. He exponentially increased the number of Israelis studying for the rabbinate, as educators pastoral caregivers, and interfaith teachers for tolerance on the Jerusalem campus.

Rabbi Panken was elected HUC-JIR President by the Board of Governors on July 31, 2013. His appointment was effective on January 1, 2014 and he was installed on June 8, 2014 in Cincinnati. Ordained by HUC-JIR in New York in 1991, Rabbi Panken previously served as Vice President for Strategic Initiatives (2007-2010), Dean of the New York Campus (1998-2007), and Dean of Students (1996-1998). He joined the HUC-JIR faculty in 1995, and taught Rabbinic and Second Temple Literature, with research interests in the historical development of legal concepts and terms; narrative development; and development of holiday observances. His publications included The Rhetoric of Innovation (University Press of America, 2005), which explored legal change in Rabbinic texts, the newly published, co-edited Engaging Torah: Modern Perspectives on the Hebrew Bible, and articles in leading academic journals and scholarly volumes.

Rabbi Panken strove for ongoing innovation and creativity in strengthening HUC-JIR as the intellectual center of Progressive Judaism worldwide, with its renowned faculty of scholars and thought leaders and internationall y recognized library, archive, and museum research resources. Rabbi Panken stated, “Our mission is to help our students grow into authentic Jewish thought leaders, able to articulate and advance their own visions of a rich Jewish life for a new and rapidly changing religious landscape. We are shaping a compelling message that will have an impact on the largest denomination of Jews in North America and the growing Progressive Jewish community in Israel and worldwide.”

An ardent supporter of Reform Judaism in Israel, Rabbi Panken said, “As the only North American seminary with a full campus and programs in Israel, we are uniquely positioned to influence both Israeli and North American society, and to ensure that the relationship between these two great centers of Jewish life continues and thrives. We will work hard to improve the understanding and integration of Reform Jews worldwide with our Jewish State and with all our global partners.”

An alumnus of the Wexner Graduate Fellowship, Dr. Panken earned his doctorate in Hebrew and Judaic Studies at New York University. He was on the faculty for the Wexner Foundation and the Editorial Board of Reform Judaism Magazine, and served on the Rabbinical Placement Commission, the Birthright Education Committee, the CCAR Ethics Committee, and in a variety of other leadership roles within the Reform Movement and the greater Jewish community. He lectured widely at academic conferences and synagogues throughout North America and as visiting faculty at universities in Australia and China. Prior to teaching at the College-Institute, he served as a congregational rabbi at Congregation Rodeph Sholom in New York City and as a rabbinical intern at Westchester Reform Temple in Scarsdale, NY. A native of New York City who graduated from Johns Hopkins University’s Electrical Engineering program, Rabbi Panken was a certificated commercial pilot and sailor.

At his inauguration convocation, he said, “For me, Reform Judaism has always symbolized what I consider to be the best of Judaism – firmly rooted in our tradition, yet egalitarian, inclusive of patrilineal Jews and intermarried families, welcoming to the LGBT community, politically active, and respectful of other faiths and ideologies.”

Rabbi Panken most recently presided over the New York Graduation Ceremonies on May 3, where he said, “Our celebration comes, this year, amidst a particularly challenging and painful world, one that in many respects transcends anything I have seen in my lifetime. We now live in a world in which truth is distorted, basic institutions of American life like the press, the courts, the electoral system, the FBI, the beautiful mosaic of immigration that made this country what it is, the dignity and value of public leadership and civil service, egalitarianism and a woman’s right to choose, and so many others, are threatened in ways we simply could not have imagined a mere two years ago. We see countries long civilized reverting to policies of nationalism and tactics of scapegoating reminiscent of our darkest times. We labor under the challenges of privacy and the ability for noxious leaders to spread their message ever more broadly and more efficiently through warped use of social media, cynical and often violent supremacist protests, and through targeting innocent immigrants as vicious criminals. But here’s the thing: the Jewish people, and our religious friends of other faiths, have seen this before, and we have lived through it, and thrived and built again and again and again. We are a people of action and courage, of innovation and fearlessness, of adaptation and endless creativity.”

He added, “The work of our alumni continues to make an enormous difference in our world. When tragedy strikes, in Parkland and Houston, in the Caribbean and Charlottesville, in Los Angeles and Santa Rosa, our alumni are there. For Syrian and Iraqi immigrants, in congressional offices fighting for sensible gun safety, in hospitals and in classrooms, in innovative synagogues and new communities everywhere, our alumni are there. There is nothing in the world that makes me prouder, and nothing can make me more certain of the extraordinary Jewish future we have ahead of us, than knowing who they are and what they are doing, and seeing how they have produced the next generation of committed, learned Jews, through their hard work and their wisdom.”

Rabbi Panken is survived by his wife, Lisa Messinger, his children Eli and Samantha, his parents Beverly and Peter, and his sister, Rabbi Melinda Panken of Congregation Shaari Emeth in Manalapan, NJ.

Even as we mourn the loss of our colleague, teacher, and friend, the vision that Rabbi Aaron Panken brought to Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion remains a source of hope and comfort to those who mourn and the Jewish community. Rabbi Panken’s family requests donations in his memory be made to help fulfill Aaron’s vision for his beloved HUC-JIR at or by mail to Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, One West Fourth Street, New York, NY 10012.

Founded in 1875, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion is North America’s leading institution of higher Jewish education and the academic, spiritual, and professional leadership development center of Reform Judaism. HUC-JIR educates men and women for service to North American and world Jewry as rabbis, cantors, educators, and nonprofit management professionals, and offers graduate programs to scholars and clergy of all faiths. With centers of learning in Cincinnati, Jerusalem, Los Angeles, and New York, HUC-JIR’s scholarly resources comprise the renowned Klau Library, The Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives, museums, research institutes and centers, and academic publications. In partnership with the Union for Reform Judaism and the Central Conference of American Rabbis, HUC-JIR sustains the Reform Movement’s congregations and professional and lay leaders. HUC-JIR’s campuses invite the community to cultural and educational programs illuminating Jewish heritage and fostering interfaith and multiethnic understanding.

In Memoriam of Rabbi Aaron Panken

Dear members, 
I wish to share with you the sad news about a remarkable Rabbi of our Reform movement who tragically died this weekend. His exemplary life is reviewed in this moving testimony below. May his deeds and the memory of his life be a blessing to us all.
Yossi J Liebowitz Rabbi
“And if he is a sage … everyone is like his relative, everyone mourns together …” (Talmud Bavli, Moed Katan 25a)

“When a president dies – we all rend our clothes in mourning” (Mishneh Torah, Laws of Mourning 9:15)

The leadership of the Israel Movement for Reform and Progressive Judaism, its rabbis and members are saddened by the tragic death of our teacher and friend Rabbi Prof. Aaron Panken of blessed memory, President of our Seminary for training Rabbis, Educators and Communal Workers in North America and Israel – Hebrew Union College, Institute of Jewish Studies.

Rabbi Panken, a scholar of the literature of the Second Temple and Chazal, had been at the head of Hebrew Union College for the last four years, bringing with him a spirit and vision of love of Torah and love of Israel, intellectual depth, pedagogical innovation, striving for academic excellence, and personal exemplary commitment to the future of Reform Judaism and the future of the entire Jewish people. Under his leadership, the College continued to be the leading institution for the ordination of rabbis, cantors, Jewish educators, and community leaders in North America, shaping the future of North American Jewry.

Rabbi Panken z”l held a clear love of Zion, was fluent in Hebrew and was familiar with the events in the State of Israel and in Israeli society. Rabbi Panken was wholeheartedly dedicated to the strengthening of Reform Judaism in Israel by nurturing the Israeli rabbinic leadership and generations of young Israelis who view the Israeli Reform Rabbinate as the realization of a life of Zionism. Rabbi Panken maintained the glorious tradition of his predecessors by developing the HUC Jerusalem campus, and by continuing to require students from the Diaspora to experience a full year of study in Israel, and as the first and leading institution for the certification and ordination of liberal rabbis in Israel. In November 2017, Rabbi Panken ordained four new rabbis in a moving ceremony in front of the walls of the Old City of Jerusalem, thereby bringing the number of Israeli Rabbinical graduates of the Israel program of HUC to more than 100.

We share the deep sorrow of the Panken family: his wife Lisa, his children Eli and Samantha, his parents Beverly and Peter, his sister Rabbi Melinda Panken, and his sister-in-law Daryl Messinger (chairwoman of the Board of the Union for Reform Judaism), and the entire family.

We mourn together with all of the colleagues, friends and disciples of Rabbi Panken in North America and throughout the Jewish world.

May there be a flourishing and nurturing of the Reform Rabbinate in Israel, and the promotion of the values of pluralism, religious tolerance, Torah study and Tikun Olam in the State of Israel and throughout the Jewish world as a legacy to Rabbi Panken’s leadership and teaching.

“We are saddened by those who have gone and are no longer with us” (Sanhedrin Tractate 111; 1)

Reuven Marko – Chairman of the Israel Movement for Reform and Progressive Judaism
Rabbi Gilad Kariv – President and CEO of the Israel Movement for Reform and Progressive Judaism
Words in memory of Rabbi Panken from colleagues and students:

Rabbi Michael Marmor, Dean of the College in Jerusalem and a member of the faculty: “To all his many loved ones and admirers, Aaron was an exemplary rabbi and friend. He was a young and vital man who believed that our Torah was the Torah of life, and he wanted to live every moment in its entirety. He was a wise and profound man who combined Torah knowledge with openness and curiosity. He was a loyal, devoted and supportive friend. Above all, Rabbi Panken was a family man whose love for his family knew no bounds. We have been working together for twenty years, and the shock of his sudden demise is still great.”

Rabbi Yehoyada Amir, Chairman of the Council of Advanced Rabbis in Israel and member of the faculty: “Aaron was a friend and partner, a guide and a leader. In his quiet and welcoming way, he guided the college and gave us, in Jerusalem, the promise that our enterprise is an essential and important part of this fabric. In fluent Hebrew and out of love for a burning and honest Israel, he also knew how to express concern about many developments in Israel, and held a strong belief in the possibilities of repair and construction. From far and near he was a full partner in the construction of the family of the Israeli Reform Rabbinate. So many members if the Jewish community, in Israel and out, had the privilege to be ordained by him and to receive, at the moment of their ordination, his profound and inspiring blessing. It was good to share the path with him, to clarify disputes and to join hands for the sake of Klal Yisrael. Aaron symbolizes for me the new horizons of Reform Judaism around the world and the tremendous opportunities that arise in Israel. It is difficult, very difficult, to talk about this man of the future and his vision in the past tense; it is permissible, necessary even, to believe that his light will continue to shine even after his death. יהי זכרו ברוך.”

Rabbi Talia Avnon Benvenisti, head of the Israeli Rabbinate program: “Rabbi Panken was one of the architects of the idea of Jewish liberalism. He devoted his life to a new Jewish thought in which morality and ethics were the basic foundations of modern Jewish existence. Rabbi Panken was an ardent supporter of the Reform Zionist rabbinic leadership and was committed to preserving the State of Israel whenever necessary. His quiet and gentle spirit has transformed young rabbis in Israel and the world, and his legacy will remain forever engraved on their hearts.”

May Yarhzeits

5/1 Louis Reimer

5/1  Jack Tobin

5/2  Jack Steinbrock

5/4  Elizabeth Reemes

5/5  Sara Hecklin

5/5 Marthe Heymann

5/5 Fishel Steinbrock

5/7 Meyer Liebauer

5/7  Stephen Werner

5/8  Edith From

5/10 Harry Price

5/10 Abel Simon

5/10  Joel Spigel

5/11  Gussie Levy

5/12  David Packer

5/13 Minnie Perlman

5/14 Ernest Emory

5/14 Dr. Simon H. Smith

5/14 Pauline L. Smith

5/14 Samuel Weiner

5/15 Dorothy Brett

5/15 Hyman Greenfield

5/15 Jerry Hyder

5/15 Susan R. Wise

5/15 Rabbi Max S. Stauber

5/16 Jides Koser

5/18 Barry Goldman

5/18 Elizabeth Nabow

5/18 Morris Unger

5/18 Isadore Usiskin

5/20 Mildred P. Gelburd

5/21 Hazel Abelsky

5/21 Yakov Feldman

5/21 Ethel Silnutzer

5/22 Hattie Nadel

5/22 Samuel Shapiro

5/22 Rose H. Smiley

5/23 Nathan W. Blumberg

5/26 Pauline Unger

5/27 Charles Rabiner

5/28 William Smith

5/29 Samuel Robinson

5/30 Rose Cohen

5/30 Jake Lurey

5/31 Minnye Weinberger

Upcoming Dates to Remember for May



2 Last Day of Hebrew School

4  Lag Ba-Omer Cookout

5  Saturday Service, Tisch with Rabbi & Carrie

6  Last Day of Sunday School

11  Kabbalat Shabbat with Dr. Mark Packer leading services

12  No Saturday Service

13  Mother’s Day

16 Hadassah Closing Meeting

18  Sisterhood Sabbath

19  Saturday Service

20  Temple Board Meeting

20 Yizkor Service & Blintzes

25  Kabbalat Shabbat

26  Saturday Service

Mourning the Passing of Max Massey

Dear Friends,
We are saddened to report the passing of longtime member Max Massey who left at the age of 97 years. An internment graveside ceremony will be held on Sunday at noon. As Rabbi is out of town, at the request of the family, Alvin and Ben Stauber have kindly agreed to officiate. We encourage you to send notes of condolences and the family has asked that donations to cemetery fund* in his memory be sent to the Temple.  
*Make your check payable to Temple B’nai Israel with Cemetery Fund in the memo line.

April Yarhzeits



4/1 Aladar Hirschler

4/1  Henry Vogelstein

4/2  Helen Levenson

4/3  Nancy Geller

4/3 Samuel Packer

4/6 Herschel Levy

4/6 Jack Minsky

4/6 Samuel B. Witz

4/9 Judy Schoer Boff

4/9  Mary Vogelstein

4/10  William Mann Price

4/11  Sandra Greenfield

4/11 Bella Rabinowitz

4/11 Kurt Alfred Stern

4/11 Joesph Taffet

4/12 Anne Schultz

4/12 Andrew Blum

4/12 Morton Mooney

4/12 Herman Rovin

4/12 Marvin Sperling

4/13 Irving Unger

4/14 Pearl Skolnick

4/14 Moshe Stemberg

4/14 Risl Kaufmann

4/15 Goldie Stemberg

4/15 Arnold Ullnick

4/16 Richard J. Horn

4/16 Abraham Moglin

4/16 Dena Spigel Sachs

4/16 Irving Israel Witz

4/19 Maurice Moss

4/19 David Parnes

4/21 Mary Lazarowitz Busch

4/22 Murray Aronson

4/22 Eunice Sperling

4/24 Hersh Revich

4/24 Solomon Silver

4/25 Martin Kusher

4/25 Phyllis W. Stauber

4/26 Ida Switzer

4/27 Jonathan A. Fishbein

4/27 Dolly Liebauer

4/27 Hyman Perlman

4/27 Andrew Teszler

4/29 Alvin Fox

March Yarhzeits

3/1 Joseph Adelman
3/1 Mollie Shimkin
3/2 Lillian Bernstein
3/2 Ted Briggs
3/2 Esther Garrell
3/2 Bernard A. Katz
3/3 Mary K. Shenay
3/4 Emma Pollack Rattner
3/5 Jacob Cohen
3/6 Sidney August
3/6 Sarah S. Fleeman
3/7 Molly Black
3/7 Rose Levenson Katz
3/7 Bryan Ostrower
3/8 Mary Cooper
3/9 Maurice Shenay
3/9 Earl B. Yoffe
3/10 Samuel Davidson
3/10 Abraham Koshak
3/10 Irwin Leader
3/10 Pearl Liebowitz
3/11 Michael Koslen
3/12 Meyer Bernstein
3/12 David Gordin
3/12 Eleanor B. Oppenheimer
3/12 Murray Schoer
3/13 Ann Weintraub
3/14 Esther Bromley
3/14 Bruce Harrison
3/15 Mary G. Barnet
3/16 Jennie Abelkop
3/17 Barney Kaplan
3/17 Minnie Meyerson Zeidman
3/19 Dorothy Singer
3/19 Samuel Smiley
3/21 Herman Price
3/22 Aaron T. Kaplan
3/22 Herbert Manny Stier
3/23 Sam Reichal
3/23 Getzel Robkin
3/24 Etta Goldman
3/24 Seindel Koser
3/24 Becky Witz
3/25 Harry Liebowitz
3/25 Sharon L. Massey
3/26 Louis Blumenfeld
3/26 Fannie Asner Levin
3/28 Anna P. Reichel
3/29 Sylvia S. Cooper
3/29 Blanche Lyon
3/30 Harry Packer
3/31 Samuel Lazarowitz

Poignant Words from Dr. Stephen Godin, Fellow Congregant

About a heartfelt song written by Dr. Godin:

“There was an explanation that went along with this post to explain the origin of this song. I have retyped it below:
After every mass shooting, our country immediately engages in the same political debate as to why these tragedies happen. Is it guns? Spiritual emptiness? Mental health? To be honest, I don’t even pretend to know the answer. However, by continuing the arguments, we lose sight of what can be, after all, the most basic lesson of human nature.

After the Virginia Tech shooting, I was deeply moved by the story of Doctor Liviu Librescu, a Holocaust survivor who died protecting his students. The late Terry Wetton and I wrote a song that was recorded by the Lonesome Road Band. We intended it to be not just a tribute to his heroism but also as a reminder that no darkness, no matter how intense, can ever extinguish the light of our better selves. In this latest tragedy, two men—Aaron Feis and Chris Hixon—selflessly sacrificed their lives to protect others. It is to them and their families that I would also like to dedicate this song. Truly, they show us the way.”

Click here to listen to Dr. Godin’s timeless words.