The following update was issued Monday, May 7, 2018, by Jerry Silverman, President and CEO, the Jewish Federations of North America, regarding the passing of Rabbi Aaron Panken. The Board and Staff of the Jewish Federation in the Heart of New Jersey adds its personal condolences to our dear friend and valued partner, Rabbi Melinda Panken of Temple Shaari Emeth, Manalapan, as well as her entire family. May they all be comforted among the mourners of Zion.
By now you have already learned about the tragic passing of a great Jewish leader and our dear friend, Rabbi Aaron Panken. We shared the following brief statement in his honor:
JFNA mourns the loss of Rabbi Aaron Panken, z”l, the president of Hebrew Union College, who was killed piloting a small aircraft in the Hudson Valley area of New York state.
“In a constellation of tremendous Jewish leaders, the star of Rabbi Panken shone forth especially bright,” said Jerry Silverman, President and CEO of JFNA. “His authentic, inclusive Judaism and extraordinary personal qualities were present in his commitment to his students and his passion for vibrant Jewish life. We pray that his family will be comforted among the mourners of Zion. His loss leaves a gaping hole in their and our lives. He was a dear friend, and he will be missed by all of us at Jewish Federations.”
Funeral and Shiva information is included in the statement below from HUC-JIR.
Rabbi Aaron Panken, Ph.D., z"l
The Board of Governors, Boards of Overseers, administration, faculty, students, and alumni of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion mourn the tragic and untimely death of our beloved President, Rabbi Aaron Panken, Ph.D., an inspiring teacher, exemplary leader of Reform Judaism, and champion of the State of Israel and the Jewish people. His enormous contributions will endure as a sacred legacy.
Our heartfelt sympathy to his wife, Lisa Messinger, their children Eli and Samantha, his parents Beverly and Peter, his sister, Rabbi Melinda Panken (Glenn Cohen) and their family, his father-in-law Martin E. Messinger, and his sisters-in-law Daryl Messinger (Jim Heeger), Rabbi Sarah Messinger (Rabbi Jeff Eisenstat), and Alice Messinger and their families.
Funeral services will take place on Tuesday, May 8, at 1:00 pm at Westchester Reform Temple, 255 Mamaroneck Road, Scarsdale, NY.
A live webstream of the service will be available on the WRT website at www.wrtemple.org
Shiva will be observed:
Tuesday, May 8 at 6:30-8:30 pm with Minyan at 7:30 pm at Westchester Reform Temple, 255 Mamaroneck Road, Scarsdale, NY 10583
Wednesday, May 9 at 2-4 pm and 6-9 pm with Minyan at 7:30 pm at the home of Lisa Messinger, 8 Stonewall Lane, Mamaroneck, NY 10543
Thursday, May 10 at 4-8 pm with Minyan at 7 pm at the Stephen Wise Free Synagogue, 30 West 68th St, New York, NY 10023
Friday, May 11 at 2-4 pm at the home of Lisa Messinger, 8 Stonewall Lane, Mamaroneck, NY 10543
Saturday, May 12 at 6-9 pm with Minyan at 7 pm at Temple Shaari Emeth, 400 Craig Road, Manalapan, NJ 07726
Sunday, May 13 at 5-8 pm with Minyan at 7 pm at Temple Shaari Emeth, 400 Craig Road, Manalapan, NJ 07726
Even as we mourn the loss of our colleague, teacher, and friend, the vision that Rabbi Aaron Panken brought to Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion remains a source of hope and comfort to those who mourn and the Jewish community. Rabbi Panken’s family requests donations in his memory be made to help fulfill Aaron’s vision for his beloved HUC-JIR at huc.edu/memorial or by mail to Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, One West Fourth Street, New York, NY 10012.
Messages of condolence to the Panken family may be sent to:
Lisa Messinger and the Panken Family
8 Stonewall Lane
Mamaroneck, NY 10543
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