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Rabbi Baruch Goldstein, former longtime rabbi at Congregation Beth Israel, dies at age 94

 

Rabbi Baruch G. Goldstein, 94, formerly of Worcester, died May 30 in JFK Hospital in Delray Beach, Fla. He was predeceased by his wife of 63 years, Rebbitzen Riva (Golinkin) Goldstein.

Born in Mlawa, Poland on April 23, 1923, he was the son of Israel Meyer and Tirtza (Kleinbard) Goldstein.

In 1939, after Germany invaded Poland until his liberation in May of 1945, Goldstein lived in ghettoes, labor camps, Auschwitz Concentration Camp and survived forced death marches.

In 1948, after three years in a refugee camp in Italy, he immigrated to the United States and moved to Worcester to marry Rebecca (Riva) Golinkin. He then began a career as a Jewish teacher, educator and Rabbi. He worked at Congregation Beth Israel in Worcester as a teacher and youth group leader until 1964 when he moved to Wakefield to assume the pulpit of Temple Emanuel. In 1971, he returned to Worcester to become, first, the Assistant Rabbi and then the Senior Rabbi of Congregation Beth Israel, where he served until his retirement in 1986.

In the 1980’s, for the first time, he began speaking publicly about his experiences during the Holocaust. He spoke in hundreds of middle schools, high schools, colleges and adult organizations emphasizing the destructiveness of hatred and the importance of love and family. His speaking motivated him to write his memoirs For Decades I Was Silent, A Holocaust Survivor’s Journey Back to Faith, in 2008.

Rabbi Goldstein is survived by a son, Meyer Goldstein and his wife, Sue-Rita, of Pawtucket, R.I.; four grandchildren, Jonah, Liza, Sarah and Daniel Goldstein; and two great-grandchildren, Ronan and Asher Goldstein.

Funeral services will be held at 1 p.m. on Sunday, June 4 at Congregation Beth Israel, 15 Jamesbury Drive in Worcester, under the director of Richard Perlman of Miles Funeral home. Burial will be in Holy Society Cemeteryt in Leicester. Shiva information will be shared at the memorial service.

Memorial contributions may be made the Congregation Beth Israel or to the charity of the donor’s choice.

 

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