Zalman Kossowsky, former chief rabbi of Zurich and a US Marines chaplain, dies at 80

Rabbi Zalman Kossowsky, a former chief rabbi of Zurich, who led congregations on three continents during a career that spanned decades, has died.

Despite German language media reports, Kossowsky’s synagogue in Boynton Beach, Florida, stresses that he passed away Sunday of natural causes unconnected to the coronavirus pandemic. He was 80.

Born in Tehran to Lithuanian refugees fleeing the Soviet takeover of their country, Kossowsky was raised in South Africa. He later went to Israel for his rabbinic studies before migrating to the United States, where he stayed for better part of the 1960s and ’70s, serving at one point as a chaplain in the US Marines and working on his doctorate in sociology.

He later served as a congregational rabbi of the Kenton Shul in London before accepting the role of chief rabbi of the ICZ, a communal umbrella organization representing Orthodox, liberal and secular Jewish streams in Switzerland’s largest city, which he led from 1991 to 2007.


Never miss breaking news on Israel
Get notifications to stay updated
You're subscribed
Register for free
and continue reading
Registering also lets you comment on articles and helps us improve your experience. It takes just a few seconds.
Already registered? Enter your email to sign in.
Please use the following structure:
Or Continue with
By registering you agree to the terms and conditions. Once registered, you’ll receive our Daily Edition email for free.
Register to continue
Or Continue with
Log in to continue
Sign in or Register
Or Continue with
check your email
Check your email
We sent an email to you at .
It has a link that will sign you in.