Rabbi Marc S. Jagolinzer died peacefully at his home on Oct. 22. He was 68.
Rabbi Jagolinzer is survived by his mother, Hinda Jagolinzer of Middletown; his loving and devoted wife of 41 years, Barbara Jagolinzer; his three children, son Charles Jagolinzer of San Diego, California, and his wife, Rachelle, and their two sons, Max and Sam; daughter, Sarah Kabat of Potomac, Maryland, and her husband, Andrew, and their two daughters, Julia and Jamie; and son, Jonathan Jagolinzer of Vienna, Virginia, and his wife, Jennifer; and his younger brother, Robert Jagolinzer of New York, New York. He is preceded in death by his father, Harold Jagolinzer.
Rabbi Jagolinzer was born on March 23, 1949, in Providence to Harold and Hinda (Tesler) Jagolinzer. He graduated from Columbia University in 1971 with a degree in English before becoming an ordained rabbi in 1975. Upon completing his studies, Rabbi Jagolinzer returned to Rhode Island to become the spiritual leader of Temple Shalom in Middletown. He served with distinction at Temple Shalom from 1975 to 2016; the congregation recently named him Rabbi Emeritus.
In the summer of 1975, Rabbi Jagolinzer met Barbara Richman and proposed to her eight days later. The couple has been married since Jan. 1, 1976. His children remember him as a hands-on and engaged father, who was kind, patient and gentle, but above all else, selfless.
Rabbi Jagolinzer was an accomplished spiritual leader who had a passion for teaching students of all ages. As he used to say, “In any given week, I teach people from age 3 to 93.”
Rabbi Jagolinzer was particularly passionate about building interfaith communities in Aquidneck Island and in Rhode Island. As a newly ordained rabbi, Rabbi Jagolinzer founded and orchestrated the community-wide interfaith Thanksgiving service for Aquidneck Island, which has been held the Wednesday evening before Thanksgiving for more than 40 years.
Rabbi Jagolinzer served as the president of the Aquidneck Island Clergy Association; a Convener of the Interfaith Leaders of Rhode Island; and a member of the Diocese of Rhode Island’s Child Protection Advisory Board. He was chosen in 2015 by the Diocese to receive the prestigious “Lumen Gentium Award” as a Friend of the Diocese of Providence. Rabbi Jagolinzer was the first Jewish clergyperson to preach from the high pulpit of the historic Trinity Episcopal Church in Newport.
Rabbi Jagolinzer served with distinction on numerous Jewish and secular nonprofit boards including serving as president of the Rhode Island Board of Rabbis; chair of the Principal’s Council; chair of the Rhode Island Bureau of Jewish Education; secretary of the Newport Hospital Board of Trustees; chair of the Hospital’s Ethics Committee; president of the Board of the Rhode Island Chaplaincy Center; and president of Island Hospice. For many years, he also served as chair for the Interfaith Committee of the Conference for Community and Justice.
Rabbi Jagolinzer was the university chaplain at Roger Williams University and at Johnson & Wales University. He served as an adjunct faculty member at Salve Regina University, where he taught a popular course, “The Jewish Experience.” He taught Hebrew courses at the University of Rhode Island for more than three decades. He also taught at and served as principal of the Samuel Zilman Bazarsky Religious School at Temple Shalom.
Rabbi Jagolinzer was the recipient of numerous awards from the United States Navy, the National Conference for Community and Justice, and the Jewish Federation of Rhode Island who presented him with the prestigious “Never Again Award” for his dedication to fighting for human rights and ending discrimination. In 2011, Rabbi Jagolinzer was honored by the Women’s Resource Center as one of the “Men Who Make A Difference.”
Rabbi Jagolinzer had a wonderful sense of humor and created a popular program at Temple Shalom called an Evening of Jewish Humor. Throughout his lifetime, Rabbi Jagolinzer left a positive imprint on many individuals.
Contributions in his memory may be made to San Diego Jewish Academy, where his two grandsons attend school, located at 11860 Carmel Creek Road, San Diego, CA 92130 or http://www.sdja.com/support-sdja/ways-to-give/.