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New York - Rabbi Sidney Kleiman 100 Years Of Faith Continues

Published on: January 28, 2013 01:25 PM
By: VIN News Staff
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Rabbi Sidney Kleiman photo: YUNew York - While growing up, Rabbi Sidney Kleiman had plenty of time to consider his faith while walking from his home in the South Bronx to Yeshiva University in Manhattan. On a good day, he would sell enough stationary along the walk to earn bus fare for the return trip.

On Sunday, the centenarian Rabbi celebrated his 100th birthday with his congregation at the Murray Hill shul where he has presided since 1939. Rabbi Kleiman’s faith-based tenacity has enabled him to survive witnessing atrocities against members of his faith while focusing his energy on his esteemed Congregation Adereth El.

Kleiman began service at Adereth El in 1939 and maintained his role as leader of the Congregation until 1999. His faith never wavered. According to The Daily News, (http://nydn.us/YaXrsC), Rabbi Kleiman is the first person to arrive is the “longest serving spiritual leader at the city’s oldest continually operating synagogue.”

During his tenure, the landscape of the synagogue’s surrounding neighborhood has changed from single family residences to multi-unit housing. This change pales in comparison to the challenges that Jews faced during his lifetime. The Rabbi lived through “the Cossacks, the Holocaust, the establishment of the Jewish state, war and peace and war again.”


Jewish immigrants created Adereth El in 1857. The Congregation built on the existing site in 1863. The charismatic Rabbi Kleiman led his Congregation through the global challenges with steadfast purpose and faith.

The Rabbi has earned universal respect inside and outside the congregation. Congregation member, Mark Mayo, 38-years Kleiman’s junior, told the Daily News, “You know whenever he’s in the room. You don’t even have to speak to him to know he’s bringing an extra holiness to the moment. He found a way to keep this place alive because he’s such a true Jew.”

Kleinman downplayed the clamor of his milestone birthday but told reporters, “People are against us. Anti-Semitism is hidden, it’s lurking. But we are a creative, dynamic people. We’ll overcome by living a great life, by making everywhere we are a blessing.”

Rabbi Sidney Kleiman celebrated his birthday with the same dignity and commitment to faith that marked his first 100 years. He arrived at the E. 29th St. shul before all well-wishers and worshippers arrived and stayed the course where he belongs until the lights were dimmed.

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Read Comments (5)  —  Post Yours »


 Jan 28, 2013 at 01:39 PM בלי עין הרע Says:

I'm loving every minute of this. Real American Yiddishkeit


 Jan 28, 2013 at 02:16 PM HAPPY12 Says:

Mazel tov


 Jan 28, 2013 at 02:26 PM Sociologist Says:

Ad meah v'esrim.


 Jan 28, 2013 at 03:02 PM Insider Says:

Mazel Tov
Rabbi Kleiman and Rabbi Shloush are treasures. May they both live 'til 120 !!!!!!!


 Jan 28, 2013 at 11:52 PM Pereles Says:

Mazel Tov! And check out Rabbi Bob Garber's Wednesday night parsha class at this historic shul


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