University Synagogue’s Rabbi Morley Feinstein Passes Away

University Synagogue rabbi passes away at his Brentwood home April 25

By Sam Catanzaro

Rabbi Morley T. Feinstein of University Synagogue passed away last week after battling illness for several years.

Rabbi Feinstein, who served as the Senior Rabbi for University Synagogue from 2002-2019, passed away at his home in Brentwood on April 25 after suffering for several years from multiple myeloma, the Jewish Journal reports.

Rabbi Feinstein, born on May 26, 1954, grew up on the Westside, attending Beverly Hills High School before going onto UC Berkeley where he graduated Phi Beta Kappa with highest honors.

Before coming to University Synagogue Feinstein served as senior rabbi of Temple Beth-El in South Bend, Indiana. University Synagogue, 11960 Sunset Blvd, is now called Wilshire Boulevard Temple University Campus after a merger earlier this year.

“Our community mourns the loss of our beloved Rabbi Emeritus, Morley T. Feinstein,” Wilshire Bouelarvd Temple said. “Rabbi Feinstein’s memory is an enduring blessing to our community and beyond. Zecher tzadik livracha. זכר צדיק ליברכה.”

Over the course of his career, he was named Senior Rabbinic Fellow of Jerusalem’s Shalom Hartman Institute. In addition, he devoted time for 34 summers teaching at the camps of the Union for Reform Judaism and served on the Los Angeles Council of Religious Leaders, was the Treasurer of the Central Conference of American Rabbis, and was past president of the Board of Rabbis of Southern California.

In the wake of Rabbi Feinstein’s death, the Brentwood community shared their condolences.

“Our sincerest sympathies to the University Synagogue community on the passing of Rabbi Morley Feinstein. May his memory be blessing,” the Brentwood Community Council said.

“Heartbroken this morning to learn of the untimely passing of Rabbi Morley T. Feinstein, whose warm smile, big heart and steady hand led the congregation at University Synagogue in Brentwood for nearly 20 years,” said Councilmember Mike Bonin. “Rabbi Feinstein was a warm, and wonderful man, whose humility, quiet strength, in spirituality, inspired and guided so many. He was a giant. My deep condolences to his wife, his children, his grandchildren, and his giant network of friends, coworkers, and congregants.”

Rabbi Feinstein is survued by his wife Dr. Margarete Myers Feinstein, a historian and professor at Loyola Marymount University, two sons, Aaron, a physician; Ari, a Jewish Educator; twin daughters, Eliana and Renata, juniors at Pali High; and two grandchildren.

Private funeral services were held April 28 at Hillside Memorial.

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