Interfaith Pioneer Rabbi Mordecai Waxman dies
Rabbi Mordecai Waxman, former president of the Synagogue Council of America and a pioneer in Christian-Jewish relations, died at his home in Great Neck, New York, on August 10, 2002. He was 85 years of age.
Rabbi Waxman was particularly active in Catholic-Jewish relations, and in 1987 spoke for the American Jewish community in welcoming Pope John Paul II to the United States. For many years, Rabbi Waxman and Cardinal William Keeler of Baltimore co-chaired an annual series of Catholic-Jewish dialogues. Rabbi Waxman was also active in formulating a Jewish response to the Vatican document "We Remember: A Reflection on the Shoah." In 1998, the Pope named him a Knight Commander of St. Gregory the Great.
Rabbi Waxman was affiliated with the Conservative movement and served for many years as spiritual leader of Temple Israel in Great Neck, New York. His book Traditions and Change: The Development of Conservative Judaism (1958) set forth the basic precepts of this branch of American Judaism.