Obituaries for April 26, 2018


Rabbi Rafael Grossman, who strengthened Jewish life in the South, dies at 84

Rabbi Rafael Grossman, who founded and expanded Jewish institutions in the American South, died April 12 in Jerusalem. He was 84.

He served as a pulpit rabbi at Baron Hirsch Congregation, an Orthodox synagogue in Memphis, Tenn., for nearly three decades, according to an announcement from the congregation. Grossman was the first rabbi from outside the New York City area to serve as president of the Rabbinical Council of America, the main professional association of Modern Orthodox rabbis.
He founded the first Orthodox overnight summer camp in the South, Camp Darom in Georgia, as well as the first Jewish day school in San Antonio, Texas, and a local region of NCSY, the Orthodox youth group. In addition to Memphis and San Antonio, he held pulpits in New York City and New Jersey, where he also founded a day school. He wrote two books, one on studying Torah and the other on coping with the experience of losing his eldest daughter.

Grossman also served as chairman of the Religious Zionists of America.

“Rabbi Grossman was a rabbinic giant who had influence on the local, national and international scene,” the congregational announcement said. “For 28 years, he served member families and the wider Memphis Jewish community with great honor and achievements.”

He is survived by his wife, four children and 21 grandchildren.
—JTA News and Features


Constance Giniger
Constance Giniger, of Germantown, died March 19. She was 92. Giniger grew up in New York City and attended the City College of New York, where she earned an undergraduate degree in business. After earning a graduate teaching degree from Georgia State University in Atlanta, Giniger became a teacher at the Greenfield Hebrew Academy — known today as Atlanta Jewish Academy. She was also the southeast director for B’nai B’rith Women and volunteered with several other organizations in Atlanta. She received numerous awards for her service including Georgia’s Volunteer of the Year award.

Giniger later moved to the Washington area, and was a docent at the National Air and Space Museum, as well as a volunteer facilitator with the American Job Center’s Landover location. She was also a founding member of the independent Chevy Chase congregation Shirat HaNefesh.

Giniger is survived by daughters Patricia Giniger Snyder (Adam Snyder) and Barb Giniger Cooper (Stan Cooper) as well as grandchildren Lili Snyder, Kasey Snyder, Grady Cooper and Lila Cooper. She was predeceased by her husband, Morton S. Giniger.

Howard M. Sachar
Howard Sachar, of Kensington, died April 18. He was 90. Sachar received his undergraduate education at Swarthmore College outside of Philadelphia, and later earned a master’s degree and a doctorate at Harvard University.

For more than 40 years, Sachar was a full-time member of the history department at George Washington University. He wrote 16 books including “The Course of Modern Jewish History,” “A History of Israel” and “A History of the Jews in America,” among others.

From 1961 to 1964, he served as a founder-director of Brandeis University’s Jacob Hiatt Institute in Jerusalem. He was also a visiting professor at Hebrew University and Tel Aviv University, and a guest lecturer at nearly 150 other universities on three continents.

Sachar has twice been the recipient of the National Jewish Book Award. His writings were published in six languages and he contributed to numerous scholarly journals throughout his career. In 1996, Sachar was awarded the honorary degree of doctor of humane letters from the Hebrew Union College — Jewish Institute of Religion.

He is survived by his wife, Eliana Steimatzky Sachar; children, Sharon Sachar Porag, Michele Sachar and Daniel Sachar; and grandchildren, Raphael Porag, Ori Porag, Maya Porag, Jordan Rothschild, Talia Rothschild, Mia Rothschild, Sophia Sachar and Isabelle Sachar.

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