PILCHIK, ELY EMANUEL


PILCHIK, ELY EMANUEL (1913–2003), U.S. Reform rabbi. Pilchik was born in Baranowicz, Poland, and immigrated to the United States in 1920. He earned a B.A. from the University of Cincinnati in 1935 and was ordained and received his M.H.L. from *Hebrew Union College in 1939. HUC-JIR awarded him an honorary D.D. degree in 1964. In 1939, Pilchik joined the faculty of the University of Maryland, where he established a *Hillel Foundation, serving as its first director. He became assistant rabbi of Har Sinai Temple in Baltimore, Maryland (1940–42), before being appointed rabbi of Temple Israel in Tulsa, Oklahoma (1942–47), where his tenure was interrupted by service overseas as a chaplain in the United States Navy during World War II (1944–46). In 1947, Pilchik assumed the pulpit of Temple B'nai Jeshurun in Newark, New Jersey, becoming emeritus in 1981. He quickly became a regional Jewish leader, serving as president of the Essex County, N.J., Synagogue Council (1949–51) and Board of Rabbis (1951–52), as well as of the New Jersey Board of Rabbis (1955–57) and of the Association of Reform Rabbis of New York (1958–59). In the general community, he was appointed by the governor to serve on the New Jersey State Council on Economic Opportunity and served as chairman of the Newark Citizen's Housing Committee. On a national level, Pilchik was president of the Jewish Book Council of America (1954–58), and in the Reform movement, a member of the Executive Board of the *Central Conference of American Rabbis (1951–53) and of the Board of Governors of HUC-JIR. In 1977, he was elected president of the CCAR (1977–79). Pilchik is the author of Hillel (1951), Maimonides' Creed (1952), and Duties of the Heart (1953).

[Bezalel Gordon (2nd ed.)]


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