BUCHAREST (Nov. 19)
Chief Rabbi Jakob Isaac Niemirower, a Rumanian Senator and principal leader of Rumania’s 900,000 Jews, died yesterday of a heart attack. He was 67 years old.
The Jewish community was plunged into mourning over the death of Dr. Niemirower at a time when he was active in organizing relief for war refugees from Poland and was slated to head a new central Jewish body planned by the Government as the legal representative of the Rumanian Jews.
Venerated by the Jews and respected in Government circles, Rabbi Niemirower was fearless in protesting against anti-Semitic restrictions and he frequently intervened with the Government against contemplated anti-Jewish measures.
His position as the outstanding leader of the Rumanian Jews made him the target of a would-be assassin’s bullets on Jan. 11, 1936, when a religious fanatic named Aurel Jonescu, said to have been incited by anti-Semites, fired three shots at him outside his home, wounding him slightly in the hip.
Besides serving as Chief Rabbi, Dr. Niemirower was for many years president of the Rumanian Zionist Federation, in which capacity he headed a delegation to Palestine in April, 1938, to seek enlarged immigration of Rummanian Jews to the Holy Land. He was also head of the Rumanian lodge of B’nai B’rith, international Jewish fraternal order with headquarters in Washington.
Born in Galicia in 1871, Dr. Niemirower was a rabbi in Jassy between 1899 and 1913, when he came to Bucharest as a rabbi of the Sephardic community. He had been Chief Rabbi of the Sephardic Community since 1921.
In 1927, Rabbi Niemirower was elected to the Rumanian Senate as representative of the citizens of the Jewish confession. Last July he was elected a member of the Senate’s Committee on National Education and Religious Affairs.
He was the author of several books on Jewish religion.