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Subject: Rabbi Ely Pilchik, Scholar and Writer

New Jersey
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Date Posted: January 09, 2003 4:47:33 EDT

Rabbi Ely Emanuel Pilchik, a scholar of Judaism who retired in 1981 as senior rabbi of Congregation B'nai Jeshurun in Short Hills, N.J., died on Monday at a nursing home in West Orange, N.J. He was 89 and formerly lived in Short Hills.

He became spiritual leader at Congregation B'nai Jeshurun in 1947. Founded in Newark in 1848, it is the oldest Jewish congregation in New Jersey.

He was born in Poland, came to the United States in 1920 and graduated from the University of Cincinnati in 1935. He was ordained in 1939 at Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, where he also received a master's degree in Hebrew literature in 1935 and a doctor of divinity degree in 1964. He also led congregations in Baltimore and Tulsa, Okla.

Rabbi Pilchik was a former president of the Central Conference of American Rabbis, the Jewish Book Council of America and the New Jersey Board of Rabbis.

Among his writings were "Hillel: The Book Against the Sword" (1951), "From the Beginning" (1954), "Judaism Outside the Holy Land" (1964), "Touches of Einstein" (1987) and "Prayer in History" (1989).

He is survived by his wife, Harriet Perlmutter-Pilchik; two daughters, Judith Zucker of Harding Township, N.J., and Susan Rosenbaum of Amagansett, N.Y.; three stepchildren, Franklin and David Perlmutter and Genesia Kamen; and four grandchildren. His first wife, Ruth Schuchat Pilchik, died in 1977.

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