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Jewish New Yorker dies of swine flu

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NEW YORK (JTA) — A Jewish New Yorker was the city’s first fatality from swine flu.

Mitchell Wiener, an assistant principal at Intermediate School 238 in Queens and an educator for 30 years, died Sunday night at Flushing Hospital Medical Center due to complications from the disease. He was 55 and lived in Flushing.

Wiener was the first person in New York State to die from swine flu and the fifth in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

Wiener and his wife were members of the Garden Jewish Center in Flushing, according to news reports. He served for a time on the synagogue’s board of directors.

“He has a very warm personality,” Rabbi Martin Cooper of the Garden Jewish Center told the Newsday daily. “He is very well-liked in the congregation.”

IS 238 was one of three Queens schools were closed by the city last week amid concerns over the spread of the swine flu virus. Five others in Queens were closed Monday, a private school in Manhattan shut down voluntarily.

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