Rabbi Judah Nadich, the longtime rabbi at The Park Avenue Synagogue-Agudat Yesharim in New York City, died Sunday. He was 95.
Nadich served at Park Avenue, one of the largest Conservative synagogues in the country, from 1957 until 1987, according to his successor and the current spiritual leader, Rabbi David Lincoln. Nadich also served a two-year term as the president of the Conservative movement’s Rabbinical Assembly, Lincoln said.
Born in Baltimore, Nadich was ordained by the Jewish Theological Seminary of America in 1937. In 1942 he enlisted in the Army as a chaplain and was sent to London, becoming the first rabbi to serve as a chaplain in the European Operations theater.
Two years later Nadich was transferred to Paris, where he conducted the first post-liberation religious services for survivors and Jewish serviceman at the rue de la Victoire synagogue. In 1945 he became the the first adviser on Jewish affairs to the commander of the U.S. forces in Europe, Gen. Dwight Eisenhower.
Returning to the United States, Nadich worked as a fund-raiser and spokesman for the United Jewish Appeal and the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee. After holding a rabbinical post at a synagogue in Massachusetts, he became the rabbi at Park Avenue, which has 1,500 families.
Nadich is survived by his wife of 60 years, Hadassah; three daughters, Leah, Shira and Nommi; and several grandchildren.