Obituaries for October 5, 2016

The French chief rabbi Joseph Sitruk wipes away a tear during a reinterment ceremony in Jerusalem for Ilan Halimi, a 23-year-old French Jew kidnapped and fatally tortured by a gang exactly a year ago on February 09. 2007. Halimi, a resident of a Parisian suburb, was lured by a young woman who entered the shop where he worked and persuaded him to meet her in another suburb, where he was kidnapped by a gang of youths, most of them immigrants. The abductors held Halimi hostage for three days and tortured him. Once the kidnappers concluded that the victim's parents were unable to pay the ransom they demanded, they dumped Halimi, who died of his wounds on his way to hospital. Photo by Olivier Fitoussi /Flash90
 Photo by Olivier Fitoussi /Flash90

Joseph Sitruk, former chief rabbi of France, dies at 71

Joseph Sitruk, who served as chief rabbi of France for more than two decades, has died.

Sitruk died Sept. 25 after being hospitalized for several days following a stroke, The Times of Israel reported. He was 71.

French President Francois Hollande called the Orthodox religious leader a “defender of secularism” in a statement announcing his death, according to The Associated Press. Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve praised him as “a tireless fighter against racism and anti-Semitism.”

Sitruk, a Tunisia native, served as head of France’s Jewish community, the largest in Europe, from 1987 to 2008.
His efforts as chief rabbi included promoting synagogue attendance and Jewish identity, according to AP. He also served 12 years as head of the Conference for European Rabbis.

Sitruk was buried in Jerusalem on Sept. 26.

—JTA News and Features

Janet Z. Torchinsky

On Sept. 26, Janet Z. Torchinsky of Silver Spring, beloved wife of nearly 66 years of Irving L. Torchinsky; loving daughter of the late Murray and Anna Jaffe Sincoff; devoted mother of Marilyn (Howard) Politzer, Linda (Chester) Katz, Susan (Elliott) Prissman, Sally Schtevie, Joyce E., David (Laura), Annette and Jay Torchinsky; cherished grandmother of Shirley Politzer, Lisa (Slava) Slavin, Gary Politzer, Joanna (Joshua) Rubin, Martin (Arielle) Katz, Bonnie Prissman, Annie Schtevie, Joseph Dekelbaum, Shira and Rina Torchinsky and Alexander Flum; loving great-grandmother of Jacob and Sarah Slavin and Benjamin Rubin; dear sister of Ellen Rudin, Richard (Barbara) and Dr. Michael (Kathy) Sincoff. Contributions may be made to The Jewish Foundation for Group Homes, 1500 E. Jefferson St., Rockville, MD 20852 or to the charity of choice.

Arrangements by Torchinsky Hebrew Funeral Home.

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