Rabbi Saul I. Teplitz, 92

Public speaking was his gift


Rabbi Saul I. Teplitz, a former spiritual leader of Congregation Sons of Israel in Woodmere, died on Feb. 27. He was 92.

Originally from Austria, Teplitz lived in Laurelton, Queens; Woodmere and for the past 28 years in Boynton Beach, Fla. He had earned the title rabbi emeritus from the Woodmere shul.

He served as the vice president of the New York Board of Rabbis; president of the conservative movement’s Rabbinical Assembly in New York City; and was the author of the books “Life for Living” and “The Courage to Change,” two edited volumes of “The Rabbi Speaks,” and “Best Sermons,” which was a collection of 11 edited volumes of selected sermons.

Rabbi Bruce Ginsberg, who succeeded Teplitz, knew his predecessor since 1979, when Ginsberg graduated from rabbinical school. It is Teplitz’s consistently warm sense of humor and ability to tell a story that Ginsberg will always remember. “He’s known nationally as an orator and public speaker, as one of the ten best Jewish preachers in America,” Ginsberg said. “He gave passionate talks. He had an ability to relate current events to the biblical teachings of the Torah.”

Howard Teplitz, Rabbi Teplitz’s son, also appreciated his father’s oratory talents. “Watching him do what he did best is my favorite memory,” Howard said. “He was able to captivate an audience. He would bring people from laughter, to tears, and then back to laughter again. He fine-tuned his craft of public speaking.”

Teplitz is survived by his sons; Howard (Helen), Daniel (Nan), and Michael (Jackie); six grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren. Teplitz’s wife, Miriam “Mimi” Teplitz predeceased him. She died last August.

Services were held at the Riverside Gordon Memorial Chapel in Delray Beach, Fla. on March 2. Shiva and minyan services were held at the Teplitz residence in Boynton Beach, Fla. through March 7.

The Rabbinical Assembly is accepting donations at the family’s request for their assistance fund. To donate, contact The Rabbinical Assembly Assistance Fund, 3080 Broadway, N.Y., NY, 10027.

Howard said his father was a strong-willed person who loved all people and held a special place in his heart for Israel and his culture. “He was a great supporter of Israel,” Howard said. “He was a great believer in the Jewish tradition.”