Rabbi David J. Radinsky
Rabbi Emeritus of Brith Sholom Beth Israel Congregation, Charleston, SC
Jun 27, 2006
Rabbi David J. Radinsky, retired from Brith Sholom Beth Israel Congregation, in Charleston, South Carolina on July 31, 2004. From 1970-2004 he was the senior rabbi of this illustrious congregation, the oldest continuous Orthodox Ashkenazic congregation in the United States. He currently serves as its Rabbi Emeritus.
Rabbi Radinsky is well known for being a scholar of Jewish law and Jewish and world history. The Charleston Post and Courier described Rabbi Radinsky as a “Pillar of Faith” who "has led a faith of ancient laws into a world of modern challenges." He is known for being a man of service, a man with a very keen intellect, a good sense of humor, a strong standard of personal ethics and respect and tolerance for his fellow man.
Rabbi Radinsky was born on October 9, 1940 in Seattle, Washington. He studied at Yeshiva University where he obtained his B.A. in History and Hebrew in 1963, an M.A. in Semitic Studies from the Bernard Revel Graduate School and Rabbinic Ordination from the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary in 1966. In 1961-1962 he studied at Machon Gold, Hebrew Teachers Institute, in Jerusalem, Israel. At Yeshiva College, he was a member of Pi Gamma Mu, National History Honor Society and was editor in chief of Hamevaser.
Upon receiving his Semicha in 1966, Rabbi Radinsky became a chaplain in the United States Army where he served in Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri and at Camp Red Cloud, Korea. He was in Korea during the historic Pueblo Crisis and received an Army Commendation Award for his service to the soldiers. Following his two year tour of active duty as a chaplain, Rabbi Radinsky assumed the position of Assistant Rabbi to Rabbi Emanuel Feldman at Congregation Beth Jacob in Atlanta, Georgia.
When Rabbi Radinsky accepted the position of senior rabbi in Charleston, South Carolina in 1970, he was also the principal of the Charleston Hebrew Institute, now known as the Addlestone Hebrew Academy. In 1973 at Rabbi Radinsky’s suggestion, the synagogue hired a full-time principal. Rabbi Radinsky continued teaching at the school and served as Rabbinic Dean until his retirement.
Rabbi Radinsky has played a vital role in the Charleston Jewish and greater community. He served on the boards of the Charleston Jewish Federation, Addlestone Hebrew Academy, Community Relations Committee, Crisis Ministry, and Charleston Community Hebrew School. He was a founding member of and served on the Professional Advisory Committee of the Chaplain Pastoral Program at Bon Secours-Roper Hospital, Charleston, South Carolina until his retirement. He served as the Jewish Campus Minister at The Citadel and was the Jewish Chaplain at the VA Hospital in Charleston.
He taught classes daily at the synagogue and at Addlestone Hebrew Academy. He was an instructor of Jewish studies at the Yaschick/Arnold Jewish Studies Program at the College of Charleston. He translated from Hebrew to English Rabbi Tzvi Hirsch Levin’s rabbinic manual written in 1852. Rabbi Levin was the founder of the minyan which led to the establishment of Brith Sholom Beth Israel Congregation. In 2003-2004 Rabbi Radinsky was a major consultant to Jeffey Gurock, the author of the book Orthodoxy In Charleston, Brith Sholom Beth Israel & American Jewish History. Rabbi Radinsky has translated into English Rabbi Yehoshua Bachrach’s commentary of the Book of Jonah Ben Amitati and Eliyahu.
Rabbi Radinsky is a member of the Rabbinical Council of America and has served on its executive board. He has been honored by Israel Bonds, ORT, Hadassah, Brith Sholom Beth Israel Synagogue, Medical University of South Carolina, the Hillel Society at The Citadel, and the City of Charleston, Proclamation Day in honor of Rabbi David J. Radinsky. The Orthodox Union honored him with the Rabbinical Centennial Award. Yeshiva University has honored him with the Rabbinic Leadership Award of the Wexner Kollel Elyon, as Distinguised Rabbinic Alumnus, and Aluf Hatorah.
Rabbi Radinsky relocated in August, 2004 to Memphis, Tennessee where his oldest daughter Tova Cooper and her family reside. He teaches Jewish History, Oral Law and the Weekly Torah Portion at the Margolin Hebrew Academy/ Feinstone Yeshiva of the South.
Rabbi Radinsky is a member of Baron Hirsch Congregation and is an active member of the community. He is married to Barbara Cooper Radinsky, a licensed marital and family therapist. They are proud parents and grandparents.