Rabbi Donald Julian Pollock, beloved husband of Betsy Pollock, father of Adam and Sara Pollock, and native of Brookline, Massachusetts, passed away on Tuesday night, October 11, 2011.
Rabbi Pollock lived a life full of kindness, selflessness and innovation. He worked as a pastoral psychotherapist and rabbi, often stating that all of his work was based upon helping people in their quest to find meaning in life. He was a graduate of Brookline High School, Clark University and Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion. He was ordained in a private ceremony in 1989 in Boston. His work was marked by a deep empathy for those who came to him for council and succor; in many instances, the chains of births, unions, bar mitzvahs and deaths over which he presided spanned several generations. He was one of the first rabbis to marry gay and lesbian couples and found himself performing many repeat ceremonies once those marriages became legal in Massachusetts. He officiated at Jewish ceremonies for interfaith couples, and felt strongly about the importance of welcoming the non-Jewish spouses into the Jewish community. He mentored hundreds of young students and guided them to their bar or bat mitzvah.
Together with his wife, he created Contemporary Spiritual Experience, an innovative, loose-knit, multigenerational and multinational congregation without walls. Through it, he found his final purpose: the application of the principals of Torah to a modern, living, and humane Judaism as individual as the members who constituted it.
In the words of one of his patients, "Don's presence in my life made it immeasurably better for me and for many people around me. The world is a poorer place without him."
He was a great and loving man and he will be missed by the many whose lives he touched.
Services will be held at the Levine Chapels, 470 Harvard St., Brookline on Friday, October 14 at 1:00pm. Burial in Lindwood Memorial Park, 497 North St., Randolph. The family will be at his late residence on Sunday and Monday from 12:00 noon-3pm and 6:00pm-8:00pm. In lieu of flowers, remembrances may be made to the Pollock Foundation, Inc., P.O. Box 720, Brookline, MA 02446 or the Brookline Senior Center, 93 Winchester St., Brookline, MA 02446. Arrangements under the direction of Levine Chapels, Brookline, MA.