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Dr. Philip Klein, Aged New York Rabbi, Dies

March 23, 1926
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Dr. Philip Klein, Rabbi of the Ohab Zedeck Congregation and leader of Hungarian Jews in America for the past thirty-five years, died Sunday afternoon at the age of 77. The funeral, attended by many thousands, took place yesterday. His widow is lying ill with pneumonia.

Rabbi Klein’s last wish was that his body should not be taken into the synagogue and that no eulogies be made at his funeral. He also asked that if some memorial is to be made for him that a Talmud Torah be erected in his name.

Rabbi Klein was honorary president of the Union of Orthodox Rabbis, vice-president of the Union of Orthodox Congregations and treasurer of the Ezrath Torah Fund.

He is survived by his wife, six sons and two daughters.

Among Hungarian Jews in this country Dr. Klein was often called “the Moses of Hungary.” A native of Bratchka, Hungary, he showed as a child strong predilections for a rabbi’s career, and at 11 years could recite the Talmud by heart. After studying at the University of Vienna, he became an instructor in the University of Berlin and studied there at the Rabbinical Seminary, receiving his ordination in 1871. He obtained his degree of Doctor of Philosophy two years later.

From 1874 to 1891 he was in Russia, first at Kieff then at Libau, where he held an important position as rabbi. With the increase of anti-Semitism in Russia, he was forced to leave the country, accepting the invitation of the late Rabbi Jacob Joseph to come to the Congregation Ohab Zedeck, then in Norfolk Street. He began his long service as a rabbi of this synagogue in 1891 and continued in charge after the merger in May 1923, with Pincus Elijah Congregation. He was president of the Kolef Shomre Hachomos. In February 1923, 300 friends of Dr. Klein gave a dinner in his honor at the Broadway Central Hotel.

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