Israel Klavan Dead at 64

A memorial service was held today at Yeshiva University for Rabbi Israel Klavan, executive vice president of the Rabbinical Council of America, a major Orthodox rabbinic organization, who died Friday after a prolonged illness. He was 64 years old.

He graduated from Yeshiva College in 1937 and was ordained by the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary in 1940. In his early rabbinic career Klavan occupied pulpits in Fitchburg, Mass.; Williamsport, Pa.; and Mount Vernon, NY. His effectiveness as a spiritual leader gained him a national reputation. In 1950 he was invited to assume the leading executive position at the Rabbinical Council. Under his guidance and direction the organization grew in members and its activities were expanded to include programs on behalf of Soviet Jewry and Israel.

Klavan’s contributions to Jewish life were acknowledged by Yeshiva University on three separate occasions; in 1963 he received the Bernard Revel Award; in 1970 he was the recipient of an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree; in 1973 he received the coveted Mordechai Ben David Award.

In 1974, the Commission on Synagogue Relations of the Federation of Jewish Philanthropies honored him with its Tzadaka Award. In the same year he was honored by the Rabbinical Council at a special dinner marking his 25th anniversary with the organization. In 1979 the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America conferred upon him is a stinguished National Rabbinic Leadership Award.

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