With deep sorrow, The Jewish Theological Seminary joins the family and the entire Jewish community in mourning the loss of Gershon Kekst, chair emeritus of the JTS Board of Trustees and one of the most significant and beloved leaders in the history of our institution and Jewish institutions worldwide. Gershon's warm presence and wise counsel touched generations of JTS students, faculty, staff, alumni, and lay leaders, who loved and respected him dearly. He was unstinting with his time and friendship, and untiring in his efforts to ensure the continued academic and financial strength of JTS, which he led as board chair for 18 years. Gershon's extraordinary commitment to Jewish education, and JTS in particular, will be remembered in perpetuity with the 2015 naming of the Gershon Kekst Graduate School of JTS. A pillar of our community and of the Conservative Movement, Gershon's name is enshrined, as well, on a pillar in the JTS courtyard. His greatest legacy, however, lies in the generations of JTS alumni now teaching and leading the Jewish world, along with the students of today and tomorrow who, thanks to his vision and commitment, will create the vibrant Jewish communities of the future. We extend our deepest condolences to Gershon's wife, Carol, his sons, David and Joseph, and the entire Kekst family. May they be comforted among the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem.

Published by New York Times on Mar. 19, 2017.
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9 Entries
One of the finest people I have been privileged to meet. Working at his company (in the 1980's) was a pleasure because it reflected his principles and beliefs. The world is diminished by his passing.
Lorraine Rolston
April 5, 2017
I worked with Gershon in the mid-1960s when he headed Ruder & Finn San Francisco. I was a 25-year old Canadian (from Montreal at that time, Ottawa now) and R&F had the PR account for the UN's 20th Anniversary... a very exciting time. Gershon and I were the lone Hebrews working in that office so he had adopted a fatherly attitude toward me. When I announced that I was going to leave SF and wanted to go back east to work for R&F in New York, Gersh called me into his office, shut the door firmly and said, "Cindy, you're good at what you do and if you really want to work in the NY office, I'll recommend you... but," he continued, "do yourself a favour, go home and get married." And, Carol and sons, that's exactly what I did! I was so sorry to learn of his passing but so pleased to see how very well he did during his lifetime. He was a very special man, a true menche. It was a privilege to have shared a sliver of my life under his tutelage. May his memory be for a blessing.
cynthia nyman engel
April 5, 2017
A kind wise and gentle man; caring and devoted father and loving husband to Carol .
Rachell Maidenbaum Gober
March 27, 2017
Our sympathies to Carol and the Kekst Family. Gershon's work and philanthropy will continue to be a great blessing in America and also Israel.
Scott Hertzberg
March 21, 2017
I had the distinct privilege of having been granted an "audience" with Gershon in his office when I was seeking advice about a career move that ultimately led me to leave the private practice of law and become a Judge. His advice was sage and to the point. I will not only remember that, but also our conversations in synagogue about hazzanut and the cantorate. We were both great admirers and friends of Cantor Lefkowitz. May his memory be for a blessing.
Melvin Schweitzer
March 21, 2017
Sincerest condolences to the entire Kekst family. Gershon was the epitome of a mench.
Larry Price
March 20, 2017
My deepest sympathies to Carol and the Kekst family for the passing of Gershon, a man who was larger than life and will forever leave a treasured memory to all those who who had the deep honor and pleasure to have known him.
Cathy Callegari
March 19, 2017
May his name be remembered and blessed.
Howard Rubin
March 19, 2017
To the Kekst Family and friends, I am sorry for the loss of your love one. Please be assured God loves you and is near to all who calls on him in prayer. (Psalms 145:18, 19).
March 18, 2017
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