City’s Oldest Pulpit Rabbi Dies


Rabbi David Hollander, who left the pulpit of the Mount Eden Center in the Bronx 26 years ago then continued to serve as spiritual leader of the Hebrew Alliance of Brighton by the Sea, as New York City’s oldest fulltime pulpit rabbi, died Jan. 19 in Coney Island Hospital of complications from a lung infection. He was 95, and had continued to work until becoming ill a few months ago.

A columnist for the Jewish Press and the Yiddish-language Forward, he earned the reputation as an uncompromising opponent of recognition of non-Orthodox branches of Judaism. “I represent the right wing,” he said in a 2003 interview with The Jewish Week. I am not moderate in any way.”
A native of Hungary who came to the United States with his family at 9, he studied at Brooklyn Law School and Yeshiva University. He served at Congregation Bnai Jeshurun in the Bronx before going to the Mount Eden Center.

Rabbi Hollander, who was president of the Rabbinical Council of America for two years in the early 1950s, made several trips to the former Soviet Union to visit Jewish dissidents. “On one of the final visits, a substantial change, favorable to Jews” was evident, he said.

Rabbi Hollander is survived by his wife, Fay. Burial was in Har Menuchot cemetery in Jerusalem.