The long-time Hofstra Rabbi Meir Meirman, who incorporated the university’s Hiller program into a dynamic network for Jewish students, died on March 24 in a post-fall complication at the Bronx hospice. He was 74 years old.
Affectionately known as the “Love’s,” the Great Neck Meitelmann became the organization’s Jewish educator and community leader after serving as Secretary-General of Hoffstra Hiller from 1985 to 2008. ..
While orthodox, Meitelmann was open to many ways of practicing Judaism. He was often asked to hold graduate weddings and urged dozens of ex-students to become rabbis, Jewish educators, or Jewish service professionals. Many students celebrated the adults Bar and Bat Mitzwah on campus after learning about the Jewish heritage.
“He listened to the people and confirmed that they had given them time,” said Rabbi Dave Siegel, the current secretary-general of Hofstra Hiller. “He is committed to making this world a better place for everyone, which has been demonstrated in everything he has done.”
Born in Houston, Michael “Meir” Mitelman was the youngest of three sons, a tailor Sol Mitelman and a housewife Ida Mitelman. My brother Shell died in 2014.
Meitelmann earned a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Texas at Austin and then spent three years in Jerusalem at Yeshiva, an American student. He holds a master’s and master’s degree in Jewish education from Yeshiva University and a master’s degree in social work from the Wurtzweiler Social Work School at Yeshiva University.
“He loved people,” said Alain, 82, of Manhattan’s Meitelman. “He is very attached to young people and old people, very devoted and very affectionate … he has touched a wide range of people.”
Mitelman began Hillel’s career at Adelphi University and LIU Post before joining Hofstra in 1985. Under his leadership, Hillel has won state-wide and international acclaim, including two consecutive UJA-Federation of New York grants.
He led the Hofstra AIDS Quilt Project, the Hands Across Hofstra Fundraising Project, and the Thanksgiving Project where students and staff send thanksgiving notes to friends and colleagues. A university minister and teacher of the Jewish Studies program, Meitermann also oversaw the Holocaust Remembrance Ceremony in Hofstra.
The Hofstra Student Union commended Meitelmann as an advisor for the year in 2005 and was awarded the Jewish Educator Award by the UJA Federation in New York in 2006.
“Rabbi Meitelmann has helped generations of Hofstra students find their place in the world and become leaders in making a difference,” said Stuart Rabinowitz, president of Hofstra.
Sarah Price Berkowitz of Parkland, Florida, said she was suffering from Jewish identity before meeting Meitermann as a freshman in 1994.
“He was the least judgmental, affectionate and compassionate person I have ever met,” he said. Facebook group In honor of Mitelman, who has collected hundreds of posts from current and former students. “I’ve been uncomfortable with my skin for a long time. I was hiding a Jewish star under a growing shirt, and he introduced me to Judaism in a comfortable way. Gave me. “
Meir’s nephew Rabbi Jeff Meitermann of Manhattan said his uncle was particularly devoted to his family, including 7-year-old niece Caroline and 5-year-old nephew Matthew.
“It was very special to be geographically close to him and to have these wonderful relationships with my children,” he said.
Meitelmann has survived by his brother. Sister Bonnie Meitelman; nephews Jeff Meitelman, Robert Meitelman, Josh Meitelman. Niece Lisa Morrison and Casey Assearch, and cousins Geoff Dunn, Kelly Dunn, Leslie Levy.
The funeral of Meitelmann was held on March 25th.