Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Sad news: Henry Fischel

I received news yesterday (Tuesday) afternoon from Henry Fischel's caretaker that he had died. He had been in the hospital the previous week, but had returned home on Friday. He was 94.

I haven't been able to find an on-line obituary, but this was posted to B-Hebrew today:

Sent: Wednesday, March 19, 2008 10:58 AM
Subject: [b-hebrew] In Memoriam: Henry A. Fischel

yizkor '' nishmat Heinz Fischel labrachah

Henry A. Fischel

Born in Bonn, Germany in 1913, Henry A. Fischel was the son Anna (nee Suessengut) and Adolf Fischel.

After completing secondary school in Bonn, he studied philosophy at the University of Berlin, and Judaica at the Hochschule fur die Wissenschaft des Judentums, a liberal rabbinical seminary in Berlin. He was ordained as rabbi in 1939, after having been detained for several months at a Nazi concentration camp. He continued his studies at the University of Edinburgh, in Scotland, and was awarded a PhD in 1945.

In 1941, he came to Canada, where he initially lived in a holding camp, and served as rabbi for other refugees from Germany. For the next half century, he held distinguished rabbinical and academic positions in Canada and in the United States, including professorships at Brandeis University and at Indiana University. He joined the faculty of Indiana University in 1961.

He published numerous books and articles exploring the relationship between Jewish literature and the Hellenistic world, and was a pioneer in this area of research. Among extensive academic honors and offices, he served as president of the Society of Biblical Literature in Canada, and was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship.

He was a cherished husband and father, and a beloved teacher, colleague, and friend.

An accomplished musician, he delighted his many friends and neighbors at Meadowood Retirement Community with piano recital-talks. Among his other hobbies, he was an avid chess player, a near-expert philatelist, and an eager tennis player. As a student, he played soccer, and twice competed in international boxing bouts, as a youth fly-weight.

He is survived by daughter, Antoinette Jourard of St. Augustine, Florida; daughter Miriam Herman and son-in-law Marvin Sharp of Victoria, BC Canada; nephew Robert Newhouser of New York, New York; five grandchildren, and five great grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his parents, his wife Sylvia (nee Morris) Fischel, and his sister Lotte Newhouser. His mother, nine uncles and aunts, and three cousins perished in the Holocaust.

Memorial contributions may be made to the United Way.

Funeral services will be held at Beth Shalom at 1 PM Friday, March 21, with Rabbi Mira Wasserman officiating. Following interment services at the Beth Shalom Garden at Valhalla, friends and family will gather to share remembrances at Meadowood, in the lower level.

You can also find more information here

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