Monday, 31 March 2014

Rabbi Ezra Spicehandler z"l

News has just reached us at the Memorial Scrolls Trust of the death last week at age 92 of Rabbi Ezra Spicehandler. Through his friendship with the Friedlander family, he and his beloved wife Shirley were frequent visitors to Kent House, and he often led services for Westminster Synagogue.

Jonathan Sarna writes:

"... emeritus professor of Hebrew Literature at HUC-JIR. The son of Abraham Spicehandler, one-time editor of Hadoar, Ezra Spicehandler was ordained and received his Ph.D. at HUC-JIR. Early in his career, he spent time studying Judeo-Persian in Iran, purchasing important manuscripts for HUC-JIR. For 14 years (1966-1980) he served as Dean of the Jerusalem School of HUC-JIR, which he helped to place on a firm footing. He then returned to Cincinnati, where he taught for the remainder of his career. In 1982, he was elected president of the Labor Zionist Alliance. Prof. Spicehandler wrote, edited and translated numerous books, most famously THE MODERN HEBREW POEM ITSELF (1st ed, 1965) with Stanley Burnshaw and Ted Carmi. He was also a recognized expert on H. N. Bialik. Spicehandler taught generations of students at HUC-JIR and was greatly respected for his wide-ranging knowledge and wisdom."

Our thoughts are with his family at this time. May he rest in peace.

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