Comments for Jehiel Orenstein Inspires Thu, 27 Jun 2013 01:41:26 +0000 hourly 1 Comment on His Life by Lev D. Zilbermints Sun, 12 May 2013 04:24:54 +0000 Dear Orenstein Family,

I was shocked to read in the Jewish News of Rabbi Orenstein’s untimely passing on May 5, 2013. The news came to me in a copy of the newspaper I read yesterday. Equally shocking was the discovery that the Rabbi had ALS. I heard he was ill, but never imagined it to be ALS. In fact, when I last saw Rabbi Orenstein in 2011, he appeared perfectly fine to me. We played some chess and talked about various things. That was the last time I saw him.

Rabbi Orenstein and my family goes back many years, into the late 1970s/early 1980s. My family arrived from Russia in 1975. We lived in Irvington between 1975 – 1979. Back then, it was a different town, with two movie theaters (there are none now) , a wealthy suburb. I did my bar mitzva in the early 1980s, at Congregation Beth El. Rabbi Orenstein officiated. We had over 300 people as I recall. Prior to bar mitzvah, I had to memorize the blessings and the readings in Hebrew!

Over the years, Rabbi Orenstein and I kept in touch. We would meet at his home and play chess, talk about Jewish affairs, politics, my college studies. He would give very wise advice, urging me to get ahead in life.

I speak on the behalf of the entire Zilbermints -Raskin – Gurdon family when I say that we are all going to miss him deeply. We will cherish his memory and strive to persevere in life and make great successes. Our condolences and deepest sympathies to Sylvia and the entire Orenstein Family.

Comment on His Life by Rabbi Dr. Wallace Greene Fri, 10 May 2013 02:35:43 +0000 I was fortunate to have Rabbi Orenstein as my student at the weekly Talmud class that I conducted for several years at Beth El. It was primarily a class for rabbis but several others joined our group. He always had something to contribute and I enjoyed our dialogues. He was bright, articulate, never tardy and a gracious host. This Renaissance man will be missed. Yehay zikhro barukh.

Wally Greene

Comment on His Life by Fran Reibman-Myers Tue, 07 May 2013 03:53:27 +0000 Although you are not here, you are in my heart and I know you can hear me. You cried with me when my father passed away. You helped my son to become a man and take his place in the community. You built Beth El and touched thousands of lives. You inspired me to study Talmud and become a Rabbi. It has been my honor and privilege to know and your family.

Fran Reibman Myers

Comment on Thank You, Rabbi by Margie Freeman Mon, 23 Apr 2012 23:32:32 +0000 Dear Rabbi Orenstein,
Thank you for all the wisdom and inspiration you provided over the years. One of the most memorable of your sermons was about your visits to the sick and dying. You mentioned that people don’t complain at that time, “Oh, I wish I had spent more time at the office.” They regret that they did not spend more time with their families. I have used the message from that in my own life and in guiding clients.

You also helped me realize the significance of my parents’ experience as Holocaust survivors on my choice to become a therapist.

I will always remember your words at your birthday party: “Enjoy life!”

I pray for a cure for your illness and those of others. May you continue to be courageous and inspire.


Margie Freeman

Comment on Thank You by Sarah McNamara Sun, 25 Mar 2012 23:49:09 +0000 At Rabbi’s birthday celebration, his teacher taught us about the importance of sometimes lifting the veil. This story makes me think of that, and how Rabbi Orenstein always puts love above the letter of the law. Being inspired by Rabbi Orenstein means always remembering love and respect of other people, and no room for dogma. Thank you for sharing this story. I had never heard it, but it is now one of my favorites.

Comment on Donate by Cheryl and Marc Slutzky Thu, 22 Mar 2012 20:59:56 +0000 Dear Rabbi Orenstein,
We were honored to be able to celebrate your birthday with you and your family. We have made a donation in your honor to SDDS.

Comment on Dear Rabbi by Alison Javerbaum Minion Wed, 07 Mar 2012 21:25:44 +0000 Well look at this! It seems that even in the area of e-correspondence, my parents have taught me — as they noted earlier — by example, by example, and by example.

Rabbi Orenstein, your leadership and friendship have helped to shape the lives of all of us Beth El-ites. Our family, like those of many of our friends, has turned to you in all sorts of Circle of Life moments, and we’ve never taken for granted how lucky we are to have you in our camp. Of all the brachot that I carry with me from my years at Beth El, perhaps the greatest blessing is to have known you.

Alison Javerbaum Minion

Comment on Donate by Robert and Pamela Zisner Tue, 06 Mar 2012 03:21:50 +0000 Dear Rabbi Jehiel Orenstein,
We were happy to be at your special birthday celebration. In your honor, we have made a donation to SSDS.
As you are an inspiration to those who know you, your daughter, Rabbi Debra Orenstein, is an inspiration to us at Congregation B’nai Israel.

Comment on Dear Rabbi by Tema and Ken Javerbaum Tue, 06 Mar 2012 01:46:00 +0000 You always have been and always will be our Platonic ideal not only of a rabbi, but also of a human being. We always strive to remember your advice to parents: there are only 3 ways to teach your children – by example, by example, and by example. You have taught us, and everyone lucky enough to know you, in just the same way.

Tema and Ken Javerbaum

Comment on The wisdom of a child by Robin Sitver Sun, 04 Mar 2012 17:33:37 +0000 Nikki
I have a very similar story. When my son was in the Beth El preschool, there was a song on the radio about God. Scott heard the song and said “God, that’s the man in my school.” He was referring to Rabbi Orenstein.