NEIL GILLMAN
GILLMAN--Neil.

With deep sorrow, The Jewish Theological Seminary joins the family, the Jewish community, and countless others in mourning the loss of Rabbi Neil Gillman, professor emeritus of Jewish Philosophy. A giant presence at JTS for more than half a century, he was a beloved teacher, colleague, and friend, whose lucid writing and philosophical insights profoundly influenced Jewish theology in the contemporary world. An award-winning author, his writing was both learned and accessible, helping Jews and non-Jews wrestle with the most challenging theological issues, including questions about God, revelation, suffering, and death. As a professor and dean of The Rabbinical School, he mentored and inspired generations of students, challenging them to explore the meaning of their relationship with God as they went on to careers as clergy, educators, and scholars. The impact of his teaching and writing is immeasurable and will be felt for years to come. We extend our deepest condolences to his beloved wife, Sarah, his daughters, Deborah and Abigail, his grandchildren, and the entire family. May they be comforted among the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem.

Published by New York Times on Nov. 27, 2017.
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11 Entries
Neil was a real tzaddik, a true oheiv Yisrael who saw the good in everything he encountered. His religious beliefs reflected an open mind as well as an open heart. If only others in his religious class of conservative rabbis would be like him things would be much different.
May he rest in peace, a peace that he surely deserves.
Alan Jay Gerber
Friend
November 20, 2019
Dear Sarah, Abby and Debby,
Shari Kleiner let me know about Rabbi Gillman's passing at the time it happened. I wanted to reach out now that a little time has passed to say how much I loved Rabbi Gillman and your whole family. You and your apartment was like a second home for me growing up and it makes me sad that it has been so long since I've seen or connected with any of you. I send my love, my condolences, my respect and my support during what in my experience is a very hard time.
Jennifer Miller Rent
Jennifer Miller Rent
Friend
December 21, 2017
Dear Mrs. Gillman,
I am a former rabbinical student at JTS. I grappled often with my place there and my relationship with God. Neil offered me a way into these struggles. He welcomed me, and supported a quest to understand and to feel Gods presence. He did not antagonize my thoughts. Rather he offered space for them in many of his classes. I am 52 years old. Today I still look to Neil as having opened up the world of ideas to me.

I am so sorry for your tremendous loss. I hope that you find comfort in the beautiful family you and Neil nurtured together.

Jennifer Stark-Blumenthal
Jennifer Stark-Blumenthal
Student
December 9, 2017
I was a Ph.D. student in JTSA in 89-94 and took several classes with Prof Gillman, who was my favourit teacher. I am a Rabbi in Isreal now, and on this Kabbalat Shabbat service I told my congregants about the passing of the Rabbi who has taught me something they have often heard from me: that Shabbat "enters" when the family is home and is ready to welcome it. He was most open to understand my then secular point of view and to help me bridge the gap to his Liberal Conservative (what a unique combination!) world view. I said Kaddish in his memory.
December 2, 2017
I would like to express my condolences to the Gillman Family. As a cousin, my father would always talk with pride every time he would read articles penned by Neil. May memories and the love of family surround you and give you strength in the days ahead.
Zachary Gillman
November 29, 2017
Neil Gillman provided a basis for creating meaning through his understanding and teaching of God and Judaism. Without such a framework of meaning, we would all be lost. His work must continue. And this is only a fraction of the legacy he gave his students.
Catherine Lasser
November 28, 2017
BDH. I did not always agree with him, but I always learned from him. A great teacher, and a great person. I grieve with his family. I am honored to have sat at his feet.
Rachael Hammer
November 28, 2017
I took many courses with Neil at Skirball. He was gentle, kind and was intelligent enough not to need a three syllable word when one would do. He always had time to listen to his students. He gave me the English name for my Yiddish Holocaust Memorial Book. He will also be a part of my memory. I know his memory is for a blessing
Florette Lynn
November 27, 2017
Rabbi Gillman was a master teacher who influenced a generation or two of Jewish professionals and clergy. May his memory be for a blessing.
Philip Goldwasser
November 27, 2017
He was a great theologian who understood God in the true tradition of the Jewish faith. He believed in what he preached and preached what he believed. His
friendship and integrity will be missed by me.
Alan Jay Gerber
November 26, 2017
He was ALWAYS willing to talk to students, JTS supporters, etc about his work, Judaism, etc. He will be missed for many years to come- Honored to have learned his Torah from him in class or study sessions, on many occasions- May his family be comforted during this sad time-
Sandy Starkman
November 26, 2017
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