Rabbi Joseph Hager, who for over 50 years was the spiritual leader of the Wall Street Synagogue and the founder of several yeshiva day schools, died last Saturday at Beth Israel Hospital after a long illness. He was 80 years old. Hager was a seventh generation descendant from a Hasidic rabbinical family in Austro-Hungary. His father, the Radawitzer Rebbe, Grand Rabbi Israel Hager, was the first Hasidic rabbi to settle permanently in the United States, in 1913.
Joseph Hager received his ordination from Yeshiva University in 1923. He helped found the Wall Street Synagogue in 1929 and was its first rabbi. The synagogue was the first in the city’s financial district. Hager was the founder of the Hebrew Institute of Long Island in Far Rockaway and the Yeshiva Day School in Spring Valley, N.Y. He also was the founder and past chairman of the Home of Sages of Israel in Manhattan and was the head of Kolel Radawitz in Safed, Israel, where scholars of Jewish mysticism gathered for study and research. Hager was the publisher and editor of the Synagogue Light magazine.
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.