The online guestbook for Rabbi Stanley M. Kessler

Posted on June 02, 2019
Posted by: Esther and Barry Shane
From: Kfar Harutzim, Israel

Message: Stanley Kessler played a monumental role in the life of our family. From his first day as Rabbi of Beth-El (there was not yet a synagogue; services were held in the auditorium of Bugbee school), when my parents signed as charter members, he officiated at every Shane synagogue-related event which took place prior to our making aliyah and during the short period when we returned to the States. For years, whenever Rabbi and Maurine, and more recently Rabbi alone, came to visit Israel, they called us and we met at their home in Jerusalem or had the pleasure of hosting them in our home. He was a man of such great stature, yet gave one the feeling of being equal to him in every respect. In our case, we viewed him as family. In recent years I attempted to acquiesce to his request that I call him Stanley, but somehow it always came out “Rabbi…Stanley”. For our family he was greatly respected and loved, and will be missed.

Posted on June 03, 2019
Posted by: Marvin & Jackie Pilo and Family
From: West Hartford CT

Message: We have been members of the Beth El family for over 35 years. During that time, our respect and admiration for Rabbi Kessler has only grown regarding his learning, integrity, political activism and Judaic scholarship. As a leader of the community and a role model for others’ moral sensibilities, Rabbi Kessler will be sorely missed. Fondly and sadly, The Pilo Family

Posted on June 03, 2019
Posted by: rob ludgin
From: bloomfield ct

Message: i have known rabbi kessler almost all my life. my father louis was a founder of beth el when i was 10 years old. rabbi kessler officiated at my bar mitzvah, my wedding (to karen) my sons bar mitzvahs and the funerals of both my mom and dad. he was with us at the best of times and the worst of times. he will always be remembered as a member of our family. the world is so much better because of men like him.

Posted on June 04, 2019
Posted by: Gerald Perloff/Carrie Bernabe
From: West Hartford, CT

Message: Please accept our sincere condolences to the passing of Rabbi Kessler He was a big part of our family specially the kids were growing up He will be missed

Posted on June 04, 2019
Posted by: Barbara Sloves Garner
From: Columbia MD


Posted on May 30, 2019
Posted by: Harold Rabinovitz
From: Largo Fl

Message: My deepest sympathy to the family.

Posted on May 31, 2019
Posted by: Marshall Rulnick
From: Bloomfield CT

Message: Rabbi Kessler was a giant in the rabbinate. A true renaissance man, he learned throughout his life, and paid it forward by teaching members, Trinity College Students and others. He and Maurine were dear friends of my parents and of Sandy and me. He was responsible for several Beth El students becoming Rabbis, the first being my brother, Arthur. He always stood for causes he believed in, sometimes not in concert with many Temple members. He always stood his ground and, eventually, proved to be on the right side For many years, he was the contact person about Israel for the Hartford Courant. He was quoted in articles anytime Israel had issues with its neighbors. His sermons about his trips to Israel were special. Beth El members, and all of the countless people whose lives he touched, have lost one of the great people of this generation. Our hearts go out to Abigail and Jonathan. Rabbi Kessler’s memory will be for blessing.

Posted on May 31, 2019
Posted by: Jeffrey Friedman
From: North Fort Myers FL

Message: Very sorry for your loss. Hopefully the strength of your warm, memories will replace the grief of your loss.

Posted on May 31, 2019
Posted by: Julie (Hahn) Casway
From: Boynton Beach Florida

Message: I have such fond wonderful memories of Rabbi Kessler. My family became a member of Beth El the first day when Stanley started. He was such a warm, kind person. Unfortunately, my father died shortly thereafter and Stanley did the funeral. I grew up on a personal basis with Stanley and he of course married my husband and I. I often remember when my mother died and it was snowing heavily and I called Stanley to tell him I couldn't get there and to acknowledge services were cancelled. He said "no"- he skied to Beth El. I will never forget that or the wonderful times we shared. He was so kind to my mother and I. I will have those memories forever.

Posted on May 31, 2019
Posted by: Merle bernstein
From: New london Ct

Message: The best & most understanding rabbi ever.

Posted on May 31, 2019
Posted by: Paula steinberg
From: West Hartford ct Cy

Message: It was a privilege and an honor knowing you and having you as my rabbi for so many wonderful years.

Posted on May 31, 2019
Posted by: Paul Breslau
From: Scottsdale AZ

Message: Rest in peace Rabbi Kessler and thanks for all you have done.

Posted on May 31, 2019
Posted by: malcolm r. casway
From: Boyton Beach fl

Message: What can i say about my dear friend stanley who we all loved epecially the hahn family and the casway family. he was always there for u through good times a well as sad times. he will be missed greatly. i said to julie a few week ago how i rabbi doing? we emailed every high holiday since we have been living in florida.. he was a real advocate of helping people who were in trouble. like marching with dr. m.l.k. and other causes. he will be missed by so many, especially our family. rest in peace my dear friend. to abby and jon our heart goes out to you. he was very proud of you. i am so glad when we paid a shiva call when your mother passed away to see him and spent talking about the past when everyone left for two hours. .he was the best of the best.

Posted on May 31, 2019
Posted by: Ellen(Katz) Cumby
From: Clarkesville Ga

Message: My condolences to the Kessler family. My parents Beulah and Phil Katz were members and my mom sang in the choir for many years. My brother, Barry Katz and I went to hebrew school and were Bar and Bat Mitzvah there in the 60's. He was a wonderful and gentle soul. May you rest in peace! Ellen(Katz) Cumby

Posted on May 31, 2019
Posted by: Riva and David Ruran
From: WH CT

Message: A dear friend to our family for more than forty years, he was a true Renaissance man, beautiful inside and out. He was a scholar, an athlete, a man of decency, honor, and integrity. He truly had the courage of his convictions. If he thought something was just and right, he was right there fighting for it, regardless of the consequences; and he did so many a time. But he was also, as his name suggests, Shalom, a man of peace. He fought for the future of his country during WWII, and what he fought for ultimately was the cause of freedom in a land of peace. He loved sincerely, humanity and people; we will miss him in the same way.

Posted on May 31, 2019
Posted by: Judith & Albert Greenspoon
From: Bloomfield CT

Message: We were saddened to hear of the passing of Rabbi Stanley Kessler. For those who really knew him (and Maurine, of blessed memory), he was a kind, engaging and modest man. As a Rabbi, Husband, Father, Athlete, Scholar, and Soldier, Stanley Kessler made the most of his long life. He was a true friend to those society had considered second best and "Put his money, talents and feet where his mouth was". Our family considered him our friend for over forty years; Rabbi Kessler never missed chance to ask about our children and grandchildren. We truly will miss him. Judy & Al Greenspoon

Posted on May 31, 2019
Posted by: Barry D. Friedman
From: Dahlonega GA

Message: I encountered Rabbi Kessler when he was an adjunct instructor for courses in Jewish history and culture at Trinity College--but I was a UHart student and the two institutions arranged for two of his courses to be housed on the UHart campus in 1972. What a great experience those courses were! Rabbi Kessler was a compelling lecturer and, of course, a very generous source of encouragement. I developed an appreciation for him that I have maintained to this day. His long life touched the lives of countless people and I join them in mourning this loss. I express my heartfelt sympathy to his family.

Posted on May 31, 2019
Posted by: Richard Seidman
From: Palm Beach Gardens FL

Message: Being in an interfaith marriage, my wife and I wanted a Rabbi who could address our sensitivities. We both agreed that our children must be brought up in one faith. It did not matter if it was my religion or my wife’s. We talked a lot about this, but by wife said that there were seven generations of Jews in Hartford and it made more sense to select mine. Rabbi Kessler was compassionate and understanding, for which we are eternally grateful. His life was certainly “For A Blessing!”

Posted on May 31, 2019
Posted by: David Shtten
From: Mount Sinai NY

Message: Rabbi Kessler was my friend, my hero and my teacher. I have wonderful memories of my many years at Beth El. My sincere condolences to his lovely family. He will surely be missed.

Posted on June 01, 2019
Posted by: Susan Hoffman Fishman
From: West Hartfrod CT

Message: I met Rabbi Kessler as a young student at Trinity College where he taught classes in the Holocaust and Judaism. He took a special interest in all of us and invited us to his home for Shabbats and for conversations where we were welcomed by his lovely and gracious wife Maurine. When it came time for me to choose a synagogue for my marriage, I, of course, chose Beth El. Over the years, he has been a wonderful friend to me, my husband, Bob, and our children, Ben and Gabe. As a teacher, a rabbi and a person, he modeled a life of integrity and grace, characteristics we so sorely need in our fractured world today. To me, he represented the best that we could be.

Posted on June 01, 2019
Posted by: Elliott & Elissa Donn
From: Windsor CT

Message: To the Kessler Family, Rabbi Kessler represented the best of Judaism to the world. He was a proud Jewish War Veteran, and proudly wore his well-earned Air Medal always. He was a soft-spoken mensch and a gentle man. He'll be greatly missed by all who had the honor of calling him "friend". Please accept our deepest condolences.

Posted on June 02, 2019
Posted by: Jerry Swirsky
From: Milford CT

Message: I was saddened to read of Rabbi Kessler’s passing. Rabbi Kessler was a brilliant and scholarly man who deeply loved his Congregation.He always stood by what he believed.May he rest in peace.

Posted on June 09, 2019
Posted by: Ruth Stern
From: Avon CT

Message: Thank you for all you have done in so many ways, for so many years. You leave a better world for having been in it, and we are grateful.

Posted on June 02, 2019
Posted by: Mark Rosow
From: The Villages FL

Message: Rabbi Kessler played an important part in my religious upbringing. My feelings and understanding about the Jewish Religion and Israel grew out of my relationship with him at Beth El. As a next door neighbor, my family and I valued his friendship and thoughtful comments whenever we saw him. He was always there when we needed him. Thank you, Rabbi, for being part of our lives.

Posted on September 03, 2019
Posted by: Jeff Norwitz
From: Richmond KY

Message: Rabbi Kessler was a mentor, sage, teacher, and personal friend to my family who were founding members of Beth El. During times of joy and pain, Rabbi Kessler was there for my family. Rabbi performed my Bar Mitzvah in 1965. His influence on all members of Beth El will last for many generations. ??? ???? ????

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