Search JTA's historical archive dating back to 1923

Rabbi Zalman Dworkin Dead at 85

March 12, 1985
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

More than 5,000 Hasidim attended the funeral yesterday of Rabbi Zalman Dworkin, dean of the worldwide Lubavitch Rabbinic Council, who died of cancer Saturday at the Mount Sinai Medical Center. He was 85 and had been a resident of Brooklyn. Services were held at the Lubavitch World Headquarters in Brooklyn.

As dean of the Brooklyn-based Rabbinic Council, Rabbi Dworkin was instrumental in issuing decisions on aspects of Jewish religious law. Rabbi Yohuda Krinsky, a Lubavitch spokesman, said Dworkin’s influence “transcended” the movement and that his opinions were sought “by people all over the world.”

He came to the United States in 1958 and headed the Lubavitch Rabbinic Study School in Pittsburgh from 1958 until 1967.

Born in Rogochov in what is now Soviet Byelrorussia, he studied from the time he was 11 until he was 24 at the Lyubavichi Yeshiva, near Smolensk. He married Tzivia Dubrowsky, the daughter of a leading rabbi.

Dworkin served as chief rabbi for several Russian cities until the start of World War II. At that time, many Soviet Jews sought refuge in Samarkand, a Soviet province and he served them as rabbi. After the war he became chief rabbi of cities in Germany, France and Ireland.

One of his principal interests was providing counseling for construction and operation of mikvohs through out the United States and Canada.

Recommended from JTA