January 28, 2018 / 8:46 AM / a year ago

Rabbi who founded major U.S. synagogue dies

(Reuters) - Rabbi Isaiah Zeldin, who founded one of the largest synagogues in the United States, died late Friday at his California home, the Stephen Wise Temple in Los Angeles announced on its website.

The announcement said Zeldin passed peacefully away at age 97, surrounded by family at his home in Palm Desert, Ca.

“We mourn the loss of our founder, our Rabbi, our teacher and our friend,” the statement said.

The Los Angeles Times and other media reported that Zeldin started the Reform Jewish congregation in 1964 with a few dozen members and that it grew to a membership of about 1,900.

A spokesperson for the synagogue was not immediately available for comment. Services are planned for Monday at the temple.

Reporting by Rich McKay; Editing by Catherine Evans

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