The funeral of world renowned Rabbi Ronnie Greenwald, took place this Wednesday evening at in Monsey New York.
Rabbi Greenwald, a renowned major community activist and chairman of Magenu, known for his great deeds and good heart, passed away suddenly while on vacation in Florida. He suffered from a heart condition, but showed no signs of imminent death. He lay down to sleep, and was taken from this world as he slept.
Rabbi Greenwald recently completed his review of the Magenu video series in which he introduced the program. “We are in tremendous shock, and will never have an individual that can fill his shoes.” Magenu co-founder Eli Verschleiser stated. Dr. Shani Verschleiser, AuD, LMSW stated, “We will push harder than ever to fulfill his mission in protecting Jewish children worldwide”.
Born in New York City, he made a career of spy trading, international hostage mediation, and other forms of high-stakes, high-intrigue diplomacy. He served as presidential liaison of President Richard Nixon to the Jewish community during the Nixon administration. He served as a community activist, chairs various civic boards, and directed a high school and a summer camp.
Ronald Greenwald was born to European Jewish immigrant parents and raised on the lower east side of Manhattan before his family relocated to Brownsville (in Brooklyn). He studied at Telshe Yeshiva in Cleveland after high school. After getting married, he settled in Boro Park in Brooklyn. In the early years of his marriage, he worked as a teacher of both Judaic and secular studies in Brooklyn yeshivos.
Rabbi Greenwald became active in politics in 1962 lobbying on behalf of Torah Umesorah to promote the creation and success of Jewish day schools in the United States. At the request of Jewish activist George Klein, Rabbi Greenwald became involved in the gubernatorial campaign of Nelson A. Rockefeller and helped Rockefeller win an unprecedented share of the Jewish vote for a Republican at the time. After this success, the Rockefeller campaign recommended Greenwald to the campaign of Richard M. Nixon and the Nixon re-election campaign appointed Greenwald to work for the President’s 1972 re-election in the Jewish community. In winning 35% of the Jewish vote in 1972, Nixon, like Rockefeller, did far better among Jewish voters than would be expected from a Republican in that era.
During the Nixon administration, Rabbi Greenwald served as liaison between the administration and the Jewish community in a variety of ways. During the Watergate scandal, Rabbi Greenwald contacted various Democratic Jewish members of Congress, including Elizabeth Holtzman, Bella Abzug and Arlen Specter to try to convince them that impeaching the President would weaken the United States and, by extension, hurt Israel, which, in the wake of the Yom Kippur War needed the support of a strong United States.