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The Yizkor List for 2000

On Yom Kippur we remember our family members and friends who are no longer living. We feel their absence during these High Holy Days and call upon our memories to recall their smiles, warmth and love. In addition, we remember those extraordinary individuals who made America and the world a better place. Thanks to Rabbi Michael Friedlander who compiled this list. Please fell free to share with others.


We remember these people who passed away during this last year. We do so, because we are not only members of our individual families; we are also members of the Jewish people, and citizens of America and of the world.

Lord Jacobovitz, former chief Rabbi Of Great Britain, who was not afraid to take controversial stands, expressing sympathy for Palestinians in lands under Israeli control, but also denounced abortion, homosexuality and easy divorce. One challenge of his "was to make Orthodoxy elegant and fashionable and to show that you don't have to live in squalor to be a strictly traditional Jew".

Cardinal John J. O'Connor, the archbishop of New York, an outspoken critic of racism and anti-Semitism, and sometimes just outspoken. A man who could infuriate his Jewish friends with some of his opinions but could also make up and who last Rosh Hashanah issued an expression of sorrow for wrongs that he and fellow Catholics had done to the Jewish people.

Maryann Horvath, a local critical care nurse, who died suddenly at the age of 37, and who continued to care for patients even after her death by donating all her major organs to those in need of transplants.

Derrick Thomas, Pro Bowl linebacker for the Kansas City Chiefs, whose innumerable charities that he created fought illiteracy and poverty among inner city children, made him a real life hall of Famer.

Rabbi Dick Israel, whose devoted his life to working with Hillel programs on many college campuses, bringing the joy of Judaism and a sublime sense of humor to the thousands of Jewish students whose lives he affected.

Lenny Zakheim, the New England regional director for the Anti-Defamation League, whose life was about "bringing people together in a world that drives them apart" (Stuart Schoffman), he created such programs as "A World of Difference" which trains people from all walks of life to understand and respect human diversity.

Bob Collins, the popular radio host on WGN, who put "laughter in our hearts and did it in at an ungodly hour of the day".

Morris Abram, a small town boy from Georgia who went on to play a role in the civil rights movement, served on the staff of prosecutors at the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg, served as President of Brandeis University, lead the fight for Soviet Jewish emigration, and served as chairman for the United Negro College Fund.

Timothy Jackson, James Lyons, Paul Brotherton, Jeremiah Lucey Joseph McQuirkan Thomas Spencer, six firefighters from Worcester, MA who rushed into an abandoned blazing warehouse because they knew many homeless people squatted in the cold storage building and might be trapped inside. No one was but they gave their lives all the same.

Marv Wood, whose basketball team from tiny Milan Indiana High School in 1954 defeated the powerhouse Muncie Central team, so legendary they even made a Hollywood movie about it, and who taught all of us that it's not the size of the player, it's the size of his heart that matters.

Wilt Chamberlain, who on second thought taught us that sometimes it is the size of the player.

Charles Schultz, who gave us so many years of pleasure from Charlie Brown, Snoopy and the whole Peanuts gang and who retired from this world the very day he retired his comic strip characters.

Walter Payton, the greatest football player in history, who offered this piece of advice on retiring from football "What are you going to do erect a statue that says 'May he rest in peace'? If you could go back and change things you might not be the person you are right now. And I am pleased with the way I am right now. There were times it was frustrating and there were times it was jubilant. Over all it's been a lot of fun."

Rabbi Samuel Dresner, a great teacher and scholar, a leader in the Conservative movement and a disciple of Abraham Joshua Heschel, whose scholarship focused on Hasidut.

Yehudah Amichai, a great Jewish poet, a great poet whose poetry emphasized themes of hope and love and Jewish patrimony and the Israeli and Palestinians who died in yet another year of unrest. May some way be found so that we need not mention such deaths next year, and all the victims of terrorism in Israel, and in the world. All these do we remember, together with the ones who were so close to us, for they, too, are a part of our world.

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