Heritage Florida Jewish News - Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice



October 20, 2017

Rabbi Arthur Grae of Leesburg, Fla., died suddenly after a short illness on the 2nd day of Rosh Hashanah 5778, Friday, Sept. 22, 2017. He was 80 years old.

Arthur Grae received his Bachelor of Arts from Syracuse University in English literature (honors). He earned a juris doctor from New York University School of Law, and master of Law (Labor Law) from New York University School of Law. He graduated from the National Defense Language Institute Presidio of Monterey, California, as an official Chinese-Mandarin interpreter during his army service.

As an experienced lawyer in trial and appellate litigation in the New York State Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Court of Appeals, and Federal courts and the U.S. Supreme Court, he practiced labor law for 42 years representing public sector labor unions, trials and appeals, and Constitution rights litigation in Federal court (Title 42, Section 1983 to declare governmental action unconstitutional as applied to clients).

Rabbi Arthur was ordained a modern rabbi, in July 2010 at age 72, by the Rabbinical Seminary International, Inc of New York. He was the rabbi of Congregation Ohr Chayim in Leesburg/Wildwood, Fla., and served as volunteer hospital chaplain at Leesburg Regional Medical Center, and at The Villages Regional Medical Center in The Villages, Fla. He also served as rabbi in the summer months at Beth Joseph, Tupper Lake, N.Y., near Saranac Lake.

Rabbi Arthur and his wife, Elaine, attended the 2014 Chevra Kadisha conference in Miami, Fla., and completed the Gamliel Institute’s Chevra Kadisha courses 1 through 4 between 2013 through 2015. His Course 3 project included a unique interview about the Glasgow (Scotland) Chevra Kadisha, including the Tahara house at Glendufhill Cemetery.

Rabbi Arthur was a kind, compassionate man offering comfort to patients in the area hospitals, and good counsel to his congregants. He will be sorely missed.

He was laid to rest in the Florida National Cemetery in Bushnell, Florida.

He is mourned by his loving wife, Elaine; his son, Bill (Jackie); granddaughter, Lauren; his step-children—Avi Epstein (Tova), David Epstein (Kam), Diana Kay (Phillip); step-grandchildre —Aaron (Amanda), Marc, Leah, Linda (Adeel), Robert, James, Evelyn and Julie; and step-great-grandchildren, Mason and Ian Epstein and Lina Ahmad.

Elaine Grae thanks Rabbi Yossi Hecht (Chabad), who conducted the graveside service, and Terry Hensley and the staff of Beyers Funeral Home who were tasked with making the funeral arrangements.


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