Rabbi Mayer Abramowitz z”l, our Rabbi Emeritus, came to us as a young, recently discharged U.S. Army Chaplain, to lead the newly founded congregation. He was our spiritual leader for the next 40 years.
Born in Jerusalem in 1919, Rabbi Abramowitz z”l, emigrated with his family to the United States when he was nine. He received his high school education in New York City at various yeshivot, was granted a B.A. from Yeshiva University, and earned his M.A. and Rabbinic ordination from the Jewish Theological Seminary. The Seminary also confirmed upon him the degree of Doctor of Divinity.
As a Chaplain, he served in Germany and Austria at the end of World War II, where he was active in the Brichah, an underground movement helping Holocaust survivors to enter Palestine. He met and married Rachel xxx in the DP Camp of Rerlin in 1947. Following his army service, Rabbi Abramowitz z”l was Emigration Director for the JDC in Italy, where he helped to close the DP camps of Europe.
Dr. Rachel Abramowitz was born in Pinsk, Poland and received her intensive Jewish education in the Tarbut School of Poland. Following Russia’s alliance with Nazi Germany, she was exiled with her family to Siberia where, despite her exile status, she was able to graduate high school with distinction.
In 1946 she was brought to Berlin by the Brichah, where she taught in the school founded Chaplain Abramowitz. While in Berlin Dr. Abramowitz attended the Technical University of Charlottenburg, majoring in Chemistry. She followed her husband to Austria where she helped educate survivors in Saltzburg’s DP camps.
In 1989, Rabbi Eliot H. Pearlson succeeded Rabbi Abramowitz z”l as spiritual leader of Temple Menorah.