January 31, 2022
The Central Conference of American Rabbis mourns the death of its past president, Rabbi Simeon J. Maslin, z”l. His colleagues will miss the extraordinary scholarship, his gorgeous singing voice, his cherubic smile with a gleam in his eye, and the way that he made each rabbi and—indeed, any person with whom he was speaking—feel that they were the only person in the room.
Rabbi Maslin, known to his colleagues as “Shim,” was the editor of Gates of Mitzvah—Sha’arei Mitzvah, A Guide to the Jewish Life Cycle, published by CCAR Press. That book is a sterling example of Shim’s ability to draw on his deep learning and rich Orthodox upbringing to communicate in a language that was accessible to a wide array of contemporary progressive Jews.
Rabbi Maslin was the Rabbi Emeritus at Reform Congregation Keneseth Israel in Elkins Park, Pennsylvania. He had earlier served congregations in Curacao and Chicago, remaining particularly connected to the Curacao congregation and community throughout his life. As CCAR President, he advocated for rabbinic service in congregations of the World Union for Progressive Judaism.
The CCAR extends condolences to Shim’s beloved wife Judy, to their children and to all of their family. Judy was integral to every aspect of Shim’s rabbinate, including his CCAR presidency, and he was delighted when she co-edited Married to the Rabbi: Sixty Spouses of Retired Reform Rabbis in Their Own Words.
We also extend condolences to Rabbi Maslin’s successor, Rabbi Lance J. Sussman, and to all of his congregational family at Reform Congregation Keneseth Israel. The congregation has honored his long service with the creation upon his death of the Rabbi Simeon Maslin KI Distinguished Speakers Fund. The memory of Rabbi Simeon J. Maslin is a blessing to us all.
Rabbi Lewis Kamrass
Rabbi Hara E. Person
Central Conference of American Rabbis