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POSNER--Rabbi Dr. David Marc -- With profound sorrow Congregation Emanu-El of the City of New York mourns the death of our beloved Senior Rabbi Emeritus, Dr. David M. Posner, who served the temple with extraordinary love and matchless devotion over four decades. His long and distinguished rabbinate touched the lives of thousands as he shepherded his flock with unbounding care and sweet tenderness. His compassion and dignity, his brilliant intellect, and his great musical talent comforted, inspired and delighted us. Unwavering in his commitment to Reform Judaism, and a noted leader within the Jewish community around the world, he built warm friendships and lasting partnerships with clergy of all faiths. The gentle qualities of his life and spirit will forever remain a blessing to all who knew and loved him. Our deepest sympathy to his wife Sylvia; his children Rachel (Lionel) and Raphael (Courtney); and their children Simon and Eli, Chase and Felix. We hold them in our hearts and grieve beside them. The funeral will take place on Monday, October 22, 12:30pm at Temple Emanu-El, Fifth Avenue at 65th Street. Interment will follow at Mount Moriah Cemetery in Fairview, New Jersey. Shiva will be observed on Monday, October 22 and Tuesday, October 23 in Temple Emanu-El's Isaac Mayer Wise Hall, One East 65th Street, from 6:00-9:00pm. The family has requested that contributions in Rabbi Posner's memory be made to the development office of CaringKind, 360 Lexington Avenue, 3rd Floor, NY, NY 10017.

Joshua M. Davidson, Senior Rabbi Harris Diamond, President

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in New York Times on Oct. 20, 2018.
No memorial events are currently scheduled. To offer your sympathy during this difficult time, you can now have memorial trees planted in a National Forest in memory of your loved one.
Memories & Condolences
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20 entries
February 1, 2019
When I think of Dr. Rabbi Posner I think; Integrity, compassion, a beautiful genuine man of G-D.
I am Soo sorry for your loss, I will miss knowing he isn't here. He used to answer my letters personally, I was Soo humbled by that. Such a great and busy man.
Caroline from Washington.
( State, not DC.
Caroline Methvin
October 25, 2018
My sincere condolencesto you and your family.
Gina Reitmeier.
October 25, 2018

I used to sneak out of Sunday School classes to meet with Rabbi Posner because spending time with him was infinitely more enlightening than being in class. He was kind, witty, supportive, and inspirational. He performed both my marriage ceremonies and helped me through a painful divorce. He made my husband (not Jewish) feel welcome. He never judged, and he always found a teachable moment. He was there for my family when my parents passed away, not just as a representative of Emanuel, but as a longtime friend. I will miss his kindness.
Melanie Cadenhead
October 24, 2018
It is with great sadness that we express our deepest condolences to Sylvia and her family on the passing of our dear Rabbi David Posner. His exemplary leadership has touch the lives of thousands within our New York City community and globally.
He went above and beyond his rabbinical duties and his legacy will remain forever. May God bless him and keep him.
Jill Libman and all the Libman family.
Jill Libman
October 24, 2018
My prayers along with my sincere condolences go out to you all. In this difficult time may you find peace and comfort in the God of Abraham.
October 24, 2018
I hope this message reaches Rabbi Posner's wife and children, to let them know how their father/husband touched so many lives. I was just a part time Hebrew school teacher in the 1980s, and left in order to join a serious boyfriend in California. When it didn't work out, and I moved back to NY, I wrote to Rabbi Posner to ask if I might have my position back, because things didn't work out in CA. He wrote back immediately, saying of course I could, but more important, how was I? And that he was sorry things didn't work, but that he knew I would find happiness with the right person in time. He really barely knew me but he not only took the time to respond as he did, but he showed the deep compassion he had for everyone, not just those nearest and dearest. It was one of the few things that helped me move on in such a difficult moment. Obviously, since I'm writing this forty years later (and yes, I did find happiness!), I have never forgotten that loving message. While I am so sorry to hear of his death, I feel grateful that I can pass on to you my deepest appreciation for this kind, compassionate, generous man. His legacy will live in all of us whom he touched.
Cheryl Greenberg
October 23, 2018
Dear Sylvia

I am so very sorry to learn of Rabbi Posner's death.

I will always remember him (and you) for the kindness shown me as I was preparing to marry my (now deceased) first husband and for the beautiful and meaningful wedding ceremony he performed in 1985.

I am confident that your children and your grandchildren are a credit to him and please know I am keeping you in my thoughts and prayers and send you my deepest sympathy and a warm embrace.

As ever,
Suzi Epstein
Susan Epstein
October 23, 2018
Please accept my condolences for the precious loss of Dr. Posner. May the God of Abraham comfort all, and may HE give to each, peace and hope for the future. Jeremiah 29:11
Deepest condolences.
October 23, 2018
I am so sorry that Rabbi Posner died. I was a classmate of his at Tilden H.S., class of 1965. He and I never knew each other in that huge school population, but I knew of him and his then-girlfriend (and future wife and lifelong companion, Sylvia Smialy). I still have the Tilden yearbook in which he said he wanted to be a rabbi.

He gave enormously to other human beings. I send his family condolences on their loss of this remarkable and beloved man.
Carol Radsprecher
October 22, 2018
I met Rabbi David Posner as a child congregant at Temple Emanu-El. He was indefatigably supportive of me. We spoke periodically during my college years and as a young adult. He helped my family through the passing of our parents. His advice (only offered when asked) came without judgment. Rabbi Posner was, without a doubt, the kindest human being I have ever met. I am profoundly saddened by this terrible loss and send my most sincere condolences to his loving family.
Shawn Wallack
October 22, 2018
Remembering David as he led Tilden Sing and the years in band and orchestra... and you Sylvia in so many classes in Meyer Levin and Tilden. It sounds like you had a wonderful and fulfilling life together. Sad for your loss, and sending loving condolences. The Tilden Facebook page is remembering David thanks to Barbara Leicht.
Glennie (Glenda) Feinsmith (Stall)
October 22, 2018
Although I wasn't a member of his congregation, when I asked Rabbi Posner to officiate at my wedding he called us in to meet with him in his office. My future husband and I were musicians, with no money for anything as expensive as a wedding! When we came to the office we saw the little piano sitting there and a lovely conversation about music followed! By the end of our meeting, Rabbi Posner had not only agreed to perform the ceremony for us, he had also offered to do it for free, since we really couldn't afford to pay him! I'll never forget his incredible generosity to people he didn't know and would never see again after the ceremony ended. He has always been a hero to me, for his exceptional kindness! I'm so sorry to hear that such a shining light to the world has left us.
T. S.
October 21, 2018
Dear Sylvia and family,
I was so very saddened to hear that your beloved husband David has passed away. I can just picture him sitting down performing a beautiful piano concerto in the Tilden auditorium. Such fond memories of such a kind and wonderful man. My heartfelt sympathy to you and your family. Wishing you comfort by all the outpouring of love and remembrance.
Jo Ellen Wortman Kaiser
Jo Ellen Wortman Kaiser
October 21, 2018
In loving memory of a wonderful person I worked and laughed along side for many cherished years. He is a treasure. We all loved his generous spirit and will miss him greatly. My prayers go out to his family. Peace, Love and Light !
Barbara Skor
October 21, 2018
My deepest sympathies to Sylvia and the family. David , Sylvia and I go way back to Brooklyn in 1962 in the band and orchestra at Tilden High school with Arthur Stracher, (who I will contact today)band leader and Alfred Weil the orchestra leader and where apparently their love began to flourish at such an early yet formative age and united them for the last 56 years. David was gentle warm kind insightful funny and witty and had an uberamazing voice that filled the magnificent sanctuary with it captivating and making the Congregation have no other choice but to listen to and digest his wonderful words of wisdom and peace. My only regret is that I didn't go often enough to hear those words. Again my deepest condolences to you Sylvia and family.
Lots of love and peaceful tranquil reflective times for you and thinking of all the wonderful memories over a lifetime you shared together....this will bring you ultimate rest and peace and we will never forget our David. Love and tenderness
Kenneth L. Edelson, M.D.,Tilden 63!
Kenneth Edelson,M.D.
October 20, 2018
My deepest Sympathy to Sylvia and they Children
Rabi,Dr. Posner will,always remain,in my memory
As he made may Daughter Weddind unforgettable
Comming Special,to,Europe for the celebration.
I,was very blessed to,meet,him.
Daniela Oetker
Daniela Oetker
October 20, 2018
I knew Rabbi Posner for almost 40 years. He blessed both my daughter and son with their Hebrew names. He was there for my sons bris in the hospital. He prayed for my mother before she passed away. He was a true friend, full of compassion and a heart filled with only love. He was a blessing to the world and his faith. I will miss him terribly. My heart aches. My prayers to all of his family. May you Rest In Peace.
Joann Campbell
October 20, 2018
When someone you love becomes a memory, the memory becomes a treasure. May the wonderful treasures fill your hearts with love and bring you joy. Hosea 13:14. Cherish the treasured memories shared as you celebrate a beautiful life that will forever be adored & cherished.
October 19, 2018
He was an exceptional human. I am so glad to have known him on our journeys. My deepest sympathy to Sylvia and the family. Prayers and Hugs. Peace, Love and Light.
Barbara Leicht
October 19, 2018

May his memory be for a blessing
Judith Cohen
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