May 26, 2024
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Rabbi Nachum Muschel, ASHAR Dean, Rockland Community College Trustee, Dies at 90

Monsey—Rabbi Nachum Muschel, a prominent Orthodox Jewish educator and community leader who served on the Rockland Community College Board of Trustees, died Saturday at the age of 90. Muschel, of Monsey, the original dean of the Adolph Schreiber Hebrew Academy of Rockland and the yeshiva’s dean emeritus, was buried Sunday following a ceremony at ASHAR in New City.

Current ASHAR principal Ari Jacobson called Muschel “the heart and soul of our community, not just the founder.”

Muschel was an educator and advocate for Jewish causes and culture. As dean of ASHAR, he combined religious education with secular studies to help produce college-educated professionals, said Rabbi Moses Tendler, the spiritual leader of the Community Synagogue of Monsey.

“Rabbi Muschel’s demeanor showed the seriousness that education requires,” said Mark J. Schwartz, JLNJ’s co-publisher, who was one of Rabbi Muschel’s students at ASHAR. “You stood up when he walked in. You were nervous when you saw him walk down the hallway towards you. Yet even at a young age you knew that all of this was done out of love for the student and for Judaism as a whole,” he said.

Born in Parnov, Poland, Muschel and his family fled to Siberia when the Germans invaded in 1939. They were held in labor camps before being liberated and taken to Germany, his daughter-in-law Elizabeth Muschel said. Muschel came to the United States after surviving World War II and settled in Brooklyn, where he led Young Israel of Prospect Park before moving to Monsey in 1954. He became involved with the Hebrew Institute of Rockland County, started at the Community Synagogue. He and his late wife, Sarah, had four sons, along with seven grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. Muschel represented the founding generation of Monsey’s Jewish community, which is connected to communities in New York City and Israel.

Rabbi Muschel is survived by sons Michael, Meyer and Moshe and their families.

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