Prominent religious and community leader Rabbi Herschel Schacter has died in New York.
Schacter’s son, Rabbi Jacob Schacter, said his father died from natural causes Thursday at a hospice residence in the Riverdale section of the Bronx. He was 95.
The Brooklyn-born Schacter was an early student of Rabbi Joseph Soloveitchik, who is considered one of the founders of Modern Orthodoxy, a movement within Orthodox Judaism.
Because of his closeness to Soloveitchik, Schacter was witness to, and played a role in, many of Judaism’s critical events during the second half of the twentieth century, said Chabad-Lubavitch leader Rabbi Yehuda Krinsky.
Schacter held prominent positions in American Jewish groups, including chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations and founding member of the American Jewish Conference on Soviet Jewry.
He also served as rabbi of the Mosholu Jewish Center in the Bronx for more than 50 years.
Schacter served as an Army chaplain during World War II and was able to participate in the liberation of the Buchenwald concentration camp. In 1956, he was a member of the first rabbinic delegation to the former Soviet Union.
He also became director of Rabbinic services at Yeshiva University.