Rabbi Shalom Gold, the Brooklyn, N.Y.-born founder of Congregation Zichron Yosef in Jerusalem’s Har Nof neighborhood, was buried at the capital’s Har Hamenuchot cemetery on Sunday afternoon.
Gold was hospitalized on Friday after contracting an infection. Surrounded by family, he passed away over Shabbat at the age of 88.
In a statement mourning his death, the Orthodox Union described the rabbi as a “pioneer and visionary who built communities both in the Diaspora and Israel.” Most notably, 64 years ago, Gold founded the Ner Israel Yeshiva in Toronto and established Congregation Bnei Torah in Willowdale, a northern suburb of the Canadian city.
In 1971, he became the spiritual leader of Young Israel of West Hempstead, New York, where he remained until immigrating to Israel in 1982.
Following his move to the holy city, the rabbi led Congregation Zichron Yosef in Har Nof. Moreover, in 1984, he launched the Avrom Silver Jerusalem College for Adults, which merged with the Orthodox Union Israel Center in 2002.
In addition to promoting immigration, Gold fought against attempts to cede land to the Palestinians and helped form a coalition known as the “Union of Rabbis for the Land of Israel” during the Oslo era. In the 1990s, the organization issued a religious ruling forbidding Israel Defense Forces soldiers to obey orders to uproot Jewish communities in Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip.
“It’s impossible to describe the great loss that I feel upon hearing the bitter news about the passing of Rabbi Shalom Gold, of blessed memory,” Jerusalem Deputy Mayor Arieh King told local media. “From those who love the ‘complete Land of Israel,’ from the supporters of a united Jerusalem, from those who encourage immigration to our country, from the leaders of the national-religious public in our city … may his memory be a blessing.”
Yishai Fleisher, the international spokesman for the Jewish community of Hebron, eulogized Rabbi Gold as “a great Jew, a real rabbi and a powerful advocate for the Land of Israel.”
“Rabbi Shalom Gold was a great man and will be missed,” he stated.