OBITUARY

Rabbi Donald J. Pollock

June 27, 1947October 11, 2011

Rabbi Donald Julian Pollock, beloved husband of Betsy Pollock, father of Adam and Sara Pollock, and native of Brookline, Massachusetts, passed away on Tuesday night, October 11, 2011.

Rabbi Pollock lived a life full of kindness, selflessness and innovation. He worked as a pastoral psychotherapist and rabbi, often stating that all of his work was based upon helping people in their quest to find meaning in life. He was a graduate of Brookline High School, Clark University and Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion. He was ordained in a private ceremony in 1989 in Boston. His work was marked by a deep empathy for those who came to him for council and succor; in many instances, the chains of births, unions, bar mitzvahs and deaths over which he presided spanned several generations. He was one of the first rabbis to marry gay and lesbian couples and found himself performing many repeat ceremonies once those marriages became legal in Massachusetts. He officiated at Jewish ceremonies for interfaith couples, and felt strongly about the importance of welcoming the non-Jewish spouses into the Jewish community. He mentored hundreds of young students and guided them to their bar or bat mitzvah.

Together with his wife, he created Contemporary Spiritual Experience, an innovative, loose-knit, multigenerational and multinational congregation without walls. Through it, he found his final purpose: the application of the principals of Torah to a modern, living, and humane Judaism as individual as the members who constituted it. In the words of one of his patients, “Don's presence in my life made it immeasurably better for me and for many people around me. The world is a poorer place without him.”

He was a great and loving man and he will be missed by the many whose lives he touched.

Services will be held at the Levine Chapels, 470 Harvard St., Brookline on Friday, October 14 at 1:00pm. Burial in Lindwood Memorial Park, 497 North St., Randolph. The family will be at his late residence on Sunday and Monday from 12:00 noon-3pm and 6:00pm-8:00pm. In lieu of flowers, remembrances may be made to the Pollock Foundation, Inc., P.O. Box 720, Brookline, MA 02446 or the Brookline Senior Center, 93 Winchester St., Brookline, MA 02446. Arrangements under the direction of Levine Chapels, Brookline, MA.

Services

  • Funeral Service Friday, October 14, 2011
REMEMBERING

Rabbi Donald J. Pollock

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David Easley, M.D.

October 12, 2013

Here we are remembering you this evening. We are so grateful for your presence in Betsy's life.

Betsy Pollock

September 28, 2013

As we approach the 2nd anniversary of my beloved Don's death, I find that many of his words have moved into my own language and I feel him with me as I move on in my life. Thank you all for your love and care.

john starr

May 2, 2013

You changed my life. With the work you did with your mother farther and sister at the school you all ran together. You gave me hope and taught me .When others gave up on me .You are always in my prayers as I know I was always in your's. john starr and family

February 1, 2013

I am taking my High Holidays comprehensive exams for Cantorial Ordination...when it is especially tough I hear your voice saying, "Just get the stuff done and move on!" It makes me smile and reminds me of the legacy of support and caring you left each person who knew you. You helped us see our potential and reach for it. I miss your great sense of humor and the depth of your spirit, Lisa-

irina pansovoy

January 31, 2013

you are so missed

Arielle Schlickman

September 10, 2012

Dear Betsy,

I was only just informed today.
My fiance and I were engaged last May, and we had no other Rabbi on our minds when thinking of who should marry us. I thank the both of you for everything you have given my family, and me in particular during my Bat Mitzvah, that could not have possibly happened with out you. With this immense sadness, I am grateful for having known him and will always cherish our time together (especially while writing the Golem story).
I hope we will meet again soon.

Sending all my love,

Alice Lasky

June 15, 2012

Dear Betsy, I am late in sending my condolences to your family. I was not aware that Don had passed away and am sad to hear of this. I remember his warmth, humor and talent when giving advice. I will always remember the seder meals at your home when i was living in Brookline. Rick and I send our love to you and will keep you in our thoughts.

Alice Lasky

June 15, 2012

Dear Betsy, I am late in sending my condolences to your family. I was not aware that Don had passed away and am sad to hear of this. I remember his warmth, humor and talent when giving advice. I will always remember the seder meals at your home when i was living in Brookline. Rick and I send our love to you and will keep you in our thoughts.

Joel Hyman

April 28, 2012

Betsy,,, i just saw the notice of Donny's passing in the Clark Magazine that arrived yesterday. I will be sure to pass along the news to Gary Murry, Howard Kaplowitz and Bob Heimowitz. Donny and I and all of us spent such wonderful times together at Clark and, with me,, before that in Brookline. I mourn for him and send my most heartfelt condolences to you and your family. I hope you remember me, as I do you, and ask you to find me on facebook or write me at hymjeh@aol.com to say hello and share more pleasurable times. The loss of that hulking guy with whom i shared so much strikes me very severly this morning,,,,,,,,,,,all my love, Joel Hyman

Brooks Susman

November 18, 2011

Betsy,,,I just learned of Don's death...meeting June '69 and having spent so many years together allows a flood of memories and emotions. His memory is for a blessing...Brooks