JCRC Mourns the Passing of Harold Rosenthal, z’’l
February 17, 2022
Minneapolis, MN – Steve Hunegs, executive director of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas (JCRC), issued the following statement mourning the passing of Harold Rosenthal, z’’l:
“As HaRav Jim Sherman noted in his eulogy, Harold Rosenthal, z’’l was exceedingly proud of his relative Max Lowenthal.
“And there was ample reason for familiar admiration of Cousin Max. The son of a founder of Kenesseth Israel Congregation, Max went law school at Harvard and became a fixture in government and private practice in New York City and Washington DC.
“Max helped to introduce a freshman United States Senator from Missouri to the New Deal social circles and Georgetown salons. Max was often a key advisor to Harry Truman.
“Behind the scenes at the White House, Max was an observer and participant in the dramatic meetings and events leading to Truman’s decision to recognize Israel—minutes after David Ben Gurion declared the independence of Israel on May 14, 1948. Likely the most important demarche of Israel’s history.
“Harold was every bit the proud, accomplished, informed, and impactful Midwesterner of his cousin Max.
“As Rabbi Kravitz noted in his sermon, Harold’s memory was photographic. He knew his Bible. He knew his history. He knew all things Jewish. He closely followed current affairs.
“Harold’s mind was synchronized with his heart. He loved his country. He loved Israel. He loved his community.
“And he was at your side and had your back at all times in our sometimes rough and tumble world. A person never had a more loyal and enthusiastic friend than Harold. As the Mishnah teaches: ‘Come and learn—which is the straight [right] path to which a person should adhere? A good friend.’ (Avot 2:13). The ancient rabbis had Harold in mind.
“As did Harry Truman when he wrote Max Lowenthal on April 23, 1962: ‘I don’t know who has done more for Israel than you have’ as Max was demurring on any public recognition for his Israel advocacy within the White House and Oval Office.
“This was Harold. He was always working on behalf of the Jewish people—deploying his knowledge, warmth, and passion to whomever might need it. He defined sinew: ‘the parts of a structure, system or thing that give it strength and bind it together.’ May Harold’s memory be for a blessing.”
As the public affairs voice of the Jewish community, the JCRC fights antisemitism and prejudice, advocates for Israel, provides Holocaust education, promotes tolerance and social justice, and builds bridges across the Jewish and broader communities.