web analytics
April 19, 2014 / 19 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
Spa 1.2 Combining Modern Living in Traditional Jerusalem

A unique and prestigious residential project in now being built in Mekor Haim Street in Jerusalem.



Home » InDepth » Op-Eds »

An Unassuming Hero Who Made A Difference


Share Button

Before Pesach 1947 some of the 1,450 Jews of the Monchenberg DP camp complained that the Orthodox could not eat the margarine proved by the JDC. When Klausner asked what they wanted instead, they said potatoes. He arranged for five tons of potatoes to be delivered to the camp.

He also provided for many Passover sedorim including those at Merxhausen, a hospital with 160 Jews suffering from tuberculosis. A number of days before the holiday, the sick sent a representative to the office of the JDC with this request: “At least do not forget us on Passover.” The JDC turned to Klausner for help. Klausner reported, “At Merxhausen, on Passover evening there was truly a Seder with all good things to eat. There was joy and there was singing – all this at the cost of 23,500 RM, or if you will, at seventy cents per person.”

It is important to note that Klausner and the other American Jewish chaplains had not been authorized or expected to work with the survivors. Their role was to attend to the religious and spiritual needs of American Jewish soldiers. Some commanding officers approved of their work with the survivors; others did not. Each chaplain had to decide the extent of his own involvement with them.

I met Rabbi Klausner in the 1970’s while researching material for my Ph.D. dissertation at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. He never compared his activities with those of the other Jewish chaplains – some who also risked their careers and others who chose not to. He would not judge the latter.

Over the years we became friends – he a Reform rabbi and I an Orthodox Jew. When the Jewish people desperately needed support and encouragement, he was there for them. Under the circumstances, how could religious affiliation have any relevance?

Whenever he came to Los Angeles for work on the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Academy-Awarding winning film The Long Way Home, we would eat at Leah Adler’s restaurant, theMilky Way. When the rabbi was a rabbinical student and Leah a student at the University of Cincinnati, they dated. He went on to become a rabbi and she the mother of Steven Spielberg.

Rabbi Klausner is now reunited with all the rebbes and other Jews whom he helped in post-war Europe and throughout his rabbinical career. The Klausner family wanted him buried at Arlington National Cemetery, where he belonged. Army regulations proscribe cremation, a violation of Jewish law.

Tehey nafshoh tzerurah bitzror hachayim: May his soul be bound in the bond of everlasting life.

Share Button

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

No Responses to “An Unassuming Hero Who Made A Difference”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
FBI Wanted poster for Osama bin Laden
Pakistan Library Renamed to Honor bin Laden
Latest Indepth Stories
matza

If itis a mitzva to eat matza all Pesach, then why is there no berakha attached to it?

Masked Palestinian Authority Arabs hurl blocks at Israel Police during and after "worship" at Temple Mount mosque. (archive photo)

When we are united with unconditional love, no stone will be raised against us by our enemies.

Haredim riot after draft-dodger is arrested.

The reporter simply reports the news, but it is greater to be inspired to better the situation.

Bitton-041814

The Big Bang theory marked the scientific community’s first sense of the universe having a beginning.

Freeing convicted murderers returns the status of Jewish existence to something less than sanctified.

“The bigger they are the harder they fall” describes what God had in mind for Olmert.

We, soldiers of the IDF, who stand guard over the people and the land, fulfill the hopes of the millions of Jewish people across the generations who sought freedom.

How much is the human mind able to grasp of the Divine?

Jews have brought the baggage of the galut (exile) mentality to the modern state of Israel.

The Haggadah is an instruction manual on how to survive as strangers in strange lands.

It’s finally happened. New York Times public editor Margaret Sullivan reported on her blog that “many readers…wrote to object to an [April 2] article…on the breakdown in peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians,” claiming “[they] found the headline misleading and the article itself lacking in context.” Ms. Sullivan provided one such letter, quoted the […]

Nor did it seem relevant that according to widely circulated media reports, Rev. Sharpton was caught on an FBI surveillance video discussing possible drug sales with an FBI agent.

Jewish soldiers in the Polish forces often encountered anti-Semitic prejudice.

When the state was established, gedolim went to Ben-Gurion and asked him not to draft women and, later, yeshiva bachrim.

More Articles from Alex Grobman

Many Holocaust survivors did not know Abraham Klausner, a Reform rabbi who died last week at the age of 92, but he had a profound influence on those who lived in post-war Germany and Austria.

    Latest Poll

    Now that Kerry's "Peace Talks" are apparently over, are you...?







    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/an-unassuming-hero-who-made-a-difference/2007/07/11/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: