Rabbi Herschel Schacter has passed away at the age of 95. Rabbi Schacter was a leading figure in the United States Jewish community, and among other things held senior positions at Yeshiva University and in the Orthodox Union.
He will be buried Friday at 10 a.m. in a funeral beginning at the Riverdale Jewish Center.
During World War II, Rabbi Schacter was a chaplain in the Third Army's VIII Corps. He was the first U.S. Army chaplain to enter the Buchenwald concentration camp where he found the little boy who grew up to be Israel's Chief Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau hiding behind a heap of trash. He provided a chance to put on tefilin for the long lines of Jewish survivors in the camp who yearned to have a few minutes wearing phylacteries after years of torment and then arranged religious services for Holocaust survivors in the first days and weeks after liberation. He later aided in the resettlement of survivors.
In 1956 he was a member of the first rabbinic delegation to the USSR.
Yeshiva University honored Rabbi Schacter, who "served as Rabbi of the Mosholu Jewish Center for more than half a century, was president of the Conference of Presidents from 1967 to 1969, was president of Mizrachi-Hapoel Hamizrachi, founding chairman of the American Jewish Conference on Soviet Jewry and chairman of the Chaplaincy Commission of the Jewish Welfare Board. He was Director of Rabbinic Services at Yeshiva University, on the OU Board for decades and served as chair of the OU's Communal Relations Committee from 1970 to 1982."