Rabbi Israel Goldstein; Zionist Movement Leader
Rabbi Israel Goldstein, a leader of the Zionist movement in the United States and a founder of Brandeis University and the National Conference of Christians and Jews, died Friday at age 89.
Goldstein, born in Philadelphia, was rabbi at Congregation B’nai Jeshurun in Manhattan from 1918 to 1960, when he retired and moved to Israel.
He headed dozens of organizations, including the New York Board of Rabbis, 1928-30; the Jewish National Fund, 1934-43; the Zionist Organization of America, 1943-45; the American Jewish Congress, 1951-58; the World Jewish Congress’ Western Hemisphere Executive, 1950-59; and the World Conference of General Zionists, 1947-72.
He was also a member of the executive committee of the Jewish Agency, the organization that represents world Zionism, from 1948 to the present, and served as vice president of the Conference of Jewish Organizations on Material Claims Against Germany after World War II.
He helped found Brandeis in Walton, Mass., in 1946. In 1927, he was among the founders of what was then the National Conference of Jews and Christians; in more recent years, he was active with the Israel Interfaith Commission.
Goldstein wrote 14 books about American Jewry and Jewish ethics, including “American Jewry Comes of Age” in 1955 and “Jewish Justice and Conciliation” in 1981. Two volumes of his memoirs, entitled “My World as a Jew,” were published in 1984.
Goldstein is survived by his wife of 67 years, Bertha, and by his son, Avram. A daughter, Vivian, died three weeks ago.