WASHINGTON (May. 16)
Dr. Isaac Franck, one of Washington’s most influential Jewish leaders until his retirement in 1973, died here Tuesday at the age of 76. He suffered from cancer.
For 25 years, Franck was the executive vice president of the Jewish Community Council of Greater Washington. He served in that post from 1948 to 1973 and was instrumental in turning the organization into an influential body dealing with national and international issues.
When Franck took over his post, the Council had only 57 member organizations. When he left it had 173 member organizations, religious as well as secular.
An ardent supporter of Israel, Franck was also intensely involved in the struggle on behalf of Soviet Jewry. He was critical, however, of the Jackson Amendment which linked economic sanctions against Russia with its treatment of Soviet Jewish citizens.
Born in Russia, Franck arrived in the United States in 1923 and settled in New York City. He graduated from New York University and served as the executive director of the Jewish Community Councils in Brooklyn and Detroit before he moved to Washington as executive vice president of the Jewish Community Council of Greater Washington.
He received a doctorate in sociology and philosophy from the University of Maryland. He was known for his fluency in Hebrew, Yiddish, German, Russian and French in addition to English. After he left his activity in the Jewish Community Council, Franck lectured at various universities on philosophy and Jewish studies.