Rabbi Burstein, Z”L

Thursday, October 13, 2016 ~ 11 Tishrei 5777
Dear Friends,

It saddens me deeply to share that Rabbi Marcus Burstein died peacefully at home on Wednesday evening following the conclusion of Yom Kippur. Rabbi Burstein was a dear friend and colleague and a very special person. His indefatigable commitment to Judaism and the success of our congregation, especially during the past year, is inspiring. I miss him and know that many of you will be greatly saddened by this news.

Our collective thoughts, condolences, and prayers go out to Rabbi Burstein’s family, his husband Eric Larson, and their children Sarah, Stephen, and Sandra; his parents, Arlene and Julian, as well as his siblings, Adam, Maura, and Seth, and all his extended family.

The funeral for Rabbi Burstein will be Friday, October 14 at 10:30AM at Greenburgh Hebrew Center (515 Broadway, Dobbs Ferry, NY 10522), followed by interment at Baron Hirsch Cemetery (1126 Richmond Avenue, Staten Island, NY 10314).

Friends and members of our congregation can extend condolences to Rabbi Burstein’s family in their observance of shiva:
Saturday, October 15, 2016 at Temple Emanu-El (756 East Broad Street, Westfield, NJ 07090) from 7-9 with a service at 7:15
Sunday, October 16, 2016, at Greenburgh Hebrew Center (515 Broadway, Dobbs Ferry, NY 10522), from 2-4PM with a service at 2:30
– Monday, October 17, 2016 at Congregation Shir Shalom (46 Peaceable Street, Ridgefield, CT 06877) from 7-9PM with a service at 7:30. While the Festival of Sukkot traditionally annuls observance of shiva, we will gather for a special service to comfort each other and Rabbi Burstein’s family.
Tuesday, October 18 at the home of Arlene Burstein (440 Westgate Drive, Edison, NJ 08820) from 7-9PM
– Wednesday, October 19, at the home of Arlene Burstein, from 2-4and 7-9PM

In addition to these opportunities to comfort Rabbi Burstein’s immediate family, please consider joining us for worship at Congregation Shir Shalom in the days ahead, to recite teh Mourner’s Kaddish and gather with and comfort each other as members of our congregational family:

-Friday, October 14, 2016; Shabbat Evening Worship at 7:30PM
-Saturday, October 15, 2016; Shabbat Morning Worship at 10:30AM
-Sunday, October 16, 2016; Sukkot Evening Worship at 6PM
-Monday, October 17, 2016; Sukkot Morning Worship at 10AM

Donations honoring Rabbi Burstein’s memory can be made to:

Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion (click here)
or by check:
Rabbi Marcus L. Burstein L’Dor V’Dor Fund
HUC-JIR, Brookdale Center
One West Fourth Street
New York, NY 10012

Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism (click here)
(Include “Rabbi Marcus Burstein” in the “In memory of” section)
or by check:
Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism
2027 Massachusetts Ave NW
Washington, D.C. 20036

Rabbi Burstein and I also discussed that contributions to Congregation Shir Shalom in his memory will be used to create a Scholar-In-Residence Fund and support one of his passions, adult education.

Letters and condolence cards can be sent to the Congregation Shir Shalom office and will be forwarded to Rabbi Burstein’s family.

While our office will be closed Friday so our staff can attend the funeral and Monday for the Festival of Sukkot, please stop by Congregation Shir Shalom for a hug or a cup of coffee today or in the days ahead, to share your stories about Rabbi Burstein and his impact on your life. We will have a book in the library where you can leave notes or memories of Rabbi Burstein.

Recognizing that Rabbi Burstein was like a family member for many in our congregation, may we all find comfort and consolation as we gather to mourn, amongst the mourner of Zion!

With warm wishes,

Rabbi David L. Reiner
Hal Wolkin, co-president
Gale Berman, co-president