May Their Memories Be for a Blessing (May 2023)

With gratitude to our colleague Jan Kaufman, we are pleased to relaunch this section, which was a regular feature of our print newsletter. This monthly section is dedicated to recalling the lives of our colleagues, providing us with the opportunity to learn about their lives and to honor their legacies. Each year the memories of our colleagues are memorialized at the Azkarah during our Convention, and their stories are lovingly preserved in the Memorial Book. Please send your reflections to so that together we can remember the precious lives of each of our colleagues.

Rabbi Michael G. Brown, ז"ל

Ordained from JTS in 1968, he earned a PhD in history from SUNY Buffalo and became one of the foremost scholars of Canadian Jewish history. He spent his entire career in academia at York University in Toronto. He played a pivotal role in establishing the Jewish Studies department at York University in Toronto which he chaired for decades, including its program to train teachers for Jewish schools. Upon his official retirement in 2003, he was named Professor Emeritus. He is the author of numerous books and articles including, “Jew or Juif?” “Jews, French Canadians, and Anglo-Canadians,1759-1914”, and “Not Written in Stone: Jews, Constitutions, and Constitutionalism in Canada”. He spent 13 summers at Camp Ramah, including five years as the director of its Mador program in Ramah Poconos. He is survived by his children, Rabba Abby Scheier, Joshua, and Matthew; and seven grandchildren. He was predeceased by his wife, Frances (Frankie).

Rabbi Zvi Dershowitz, ז"ל

Born in Czechoslovakia, he was ordained at the Mesivta Torah Vodaath in Brooklyn in 1953 and held several pulpits, including five years at Temple of Aaron in St. Paul, Minnesota. During these years, he held camp administrative positions and in 1961, became the director of the Brandeis-Bardin Institute in Simi Valley, California. He then became the Administrative Director at Camp Ramah in Ojai; while at Ojai in 1973, he joined the Rabbinic staff at Sinai Temple in Los Angeles. He devoted himself to the cause of Soviet Jewry and to the release and resettlement of Jews from Iran. He retired in 1998 and was named Rabbi Emeritus, continuing to serve the congregation for many more years. He is survived by his children, Judy, Hillel, Nomi, and Toby; nine grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren. He was predeceased by his wife, Tova.

Rabbi Arnold M. Goodman, ז"ל

Rabbinical Assembly (RA) president from 1982-1984, he was ordained in 1952; he also earned a law degree from DePaul University in Chicago, the city in which he began his pulpit career at Congregation Rodfei Shalom after serving in the US Army as a chaplain.  In 1966, he became the Senior Rabbi at Adath Jeshurun Congregation in Minneapolis, Minnesota where he is best known for reintroducing traditional Jewish funeral practices not only to the congregation, but across North America with the publication of “A Plain Pine Box” and a subsequent video of the same name. He sought to democratize placement in the RA and was one of the leading voices of Project RA, which began in the early 1980s and extended into his presidency. He also chaired the RA’s Commission on Human Sexuality in the 1990s, which led to the publication of, This is My Beloved, This is My Friend: A Rabbinic Letter on Intimate Relations. As a member of the Committee on Jewish Law and Standards, he authored the teshuvah on a Kohen marrying a convert. In 1982, he became the Senior Rabbi of the Ahavat Achim Synagogue in Atlanta, Georgia, from which he retired in 2002 as Rabbi Emeritus. Shortly after, he and his wife moved to Israel. He is survived by his children, Ari, Ciporit, Dr. Daniel, Judy, and Shira (our colleague, Rabbi Wesley Gardenswartz); numerous grandchildren; and great-grandchildren. He was predeceased by his wife, Rae.

Rabbi Michael Haselkorn, ז"ל
A graduate of Princeton with a degree in Math, he went on to earn his Master of Business Administration (MBA) and Doctorate of Philosophy (PhD) from the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business; he was also ordained from Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS) in 1972. He spent over four decades as an Associate Professor at Bentley University in Waltham, Massachusetts, from which he retired as Emeritus. He was one of the founders of Shaarei Tefillah in Newton, Massachusetts in 1983. He is survived by his wife, Sharon; children, Aryeh (Lisa) Haselkorn, Dov (Jeanne), and Reva  (Isaac) Haselkorn London; grandchildren, Eitan, Ezra, Adina, Adele, Dana, Graham, Jane, and Delila; brother, Robert (Margot) Haselkorn; and sisters-in-law, Esther Kletter, Judy Dach, and Miriam Chriki. 

Rabbi Jeffrey M. Marker, ז"ל
Ordained from JTS in 1982, he became the Director at the Hillel Foundation at Pennsylvania State University, followed by four years as Rabbi of the United Synagogue of Hoboken. Later, he served as Rabbi of the Park Slope Jewish Center in Brooklyn until 1990. He spent the last decades of his career as a hospital chaplain, having received formal chaplaincy training when the profession was in its infancy. Advocating for the poor, oppressed, and vulnerable was a hallmark of his rabbinate. He was involved in organizations like Shalom Achshav (beginning in the early days), T’ruah, and Rabbis for Human Rights, among others. He is survived by his wife, Paula Freedman; daughters, Rena Freedman-Marker and Alizette Llanos; as well as his brothers, David and Bill.

Rabbi William D. Rudolph, ז"ל
He spent the first part of his career in the campus rabbinate, first as a graduate student of Semitics at the University of Michigan and then as Hillel Director at Michigan State University from 1973-1976, followed by four years as Hillel Director at the University of Michigan. In 1980, he moved to the international office of Hillel in Washington where he became Associate International Director. While at Hillel, he also began a part time position at Beth El in Bethesda, Maryland as Associate Rabbi in 1983; he went full time in 1996 and in 2001, he was named Senior Rabbi. He retired in 2015 as Rabbi Emeritus. He was a major driving force behind the founding of the DC area Ramah Day Camp and the Den Collective (for 20s and 30s). He is survived by his wife, Gail Fribush; his children, Dan, Sara, and Marc; and three grandchildren.

Rabbi Hillel E. Silverman, ז"ל
The son of Rabbi Morris Silverman, author of the “Silverman Prayerbook and Mahzor”, he was ordained by JTS in 1949 and was most proud that he and two other rabbinical students insisted on studying in the nascent state of Israel for a year. After serving as a chaplain in the US Navy, he assumed the pulpit of Shearith Israel in Dallas, Texas in 1954 and ten years later became the Senior Rabbi of Sinai Temple in Los Angeles. In 1981, he became the Rabbi of Temple Sholom in Greenwich, Connecticut, from which he retired in 2001 as Rabbi Emeritus. He then served for many years as Senior Scholar at Valley Beth Shalom in Encino, California. He died at age 99. He is survived by his wife, Roberta Sigiloff; children, Gila Rutta, Dr. Sharon Pollack, and Jonathan Silverman; three step-children, David Smotrich, Debbie Diamond, and Arona Smotrich; 12 grandchildren including our colleague, Rabbi Matt Rutta; and three great-grandchildren.