Rabbi Joseph Grunblatt zt"l
1927 - 2013
Rabbi Joseph Grunblatt was born in Leipzig, Germany in 1927, and during the years of World War II was with his parents in London where he studied at the Etz Chaim Yeshiva. They emigrated to New York in late 1944.
The Rabbi received smicha from Yeshiva Torah Vodaath in 1949. He also earned a baccalaureate degree in political science, and graduated magna cum laude, from City College of New York.
He married Esther Ungar in 1952. Rabbi Joseph and Rebbetzin Esther Grunblatt had their first son, David, in 1953. David is now a prominent attorney in New York, specializing in immigration law. Shortly after the birth of their son, Rabbi and Rebbetzin Grunblatt moved to his first shteller in Saratoga Springs. He served there for three years, during which his second son, Akiva, was born. Rabbi Akiva Grunblatt is now the Rosh Yeshivah of Chofetz Chaim Yeshiva, situated in Kew Gardens Hills, New York.
The Rabbi's next pulpit was Congregation Shevet Achim in Montreal, Canada. He also lectured widely in Canada and among other duties was the President of the Quebec Region of the Rabbinical Council of America, where he was instrumental in bringing the OU and NCSY to Montreal. He was also a co-founder and Board member of Yeshiva Gedolah of Montreal, and a member of the Board of Education of several local educational institutions. The Rabbi and Rebbetzin's daughter, Chana Leah, was born during their years in Montreal. Chana Leah teaches Special Education classes at the Bais Yaakov High School in Montreal.
In 1967, Rabbi Grunblatt became the Morah D'Asrah of the Queens Jewish Center in Forest Hills, New York.
He served for several years as a Professor of Jewish Studies at the JSS program of Yeshiva University and later taught at the Touro Women's College.
He was founder of Mesoras Yisroel, a school designed to help the early Russian immigrants become mainstreamed into yeshivos. After a great success with hundreds of students, the school closed when the Soviet Union suddely stopped permitting the exodus of Russian Jews.
Rabbi Grunblatt was also a leading figure in preserving the Jewish Forest Hills Community by leading the battle to reduce and change the nature of the Housing Project which threatened Forest Hills.
A prominent lecturer and communal activist, he has served as National Vice President of the Rabbinical Council of America, President of the Vaad HaRabanim of Queens and as an inspiring advisor to Yavneh, CAT, and similar collegiate organizations.
A respected author, Rabbi Grunblatt has lectured widely and was a frequent guest on a very successful radio program, "Taste of Torah." Aside from various magazine and journal articles, he authored a book entitled Exile and Redemption, which was published in 1988 and was reproduced in a commemorative book for his Tribute Dinner.
Rebbetzin Esther passed away in 1989. and was mourned far and wide.
She had been for many years dutifully involved in assisting immigrants from the Soviet Unionin seeking housing and life's necessities, and also later worked diligently at the Forest Hills Y, helping senior citizens.
Rabbi Grunblatt married Rebbetzin Bella Spielman Hechtman in 1990. Rebbetzin Bella and her late husband had also been actively involved in helping Russian Jews within the borders of the Soviet Union.
Rabbi Grunblatt served as the Rabbi of the Queens Jewish Center from 1967 -2006 and was Rabbi Emeritus until the day he past away.
On November 23, 2013 we lost "an Adam Gadol - a role model for generations of Rabbanim"
Rabbi Joseph Grunblatt zt"l leaves his wife Rebbetzin Bella, children, grandchildren and great - grandchildren.
Yehi Zichro Baruch