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Prayer of the Guest Chaplain of the U.S. House of Representatives: Rabbi Ely E. Pilchik on 12 May 1981

Guest Chaplain: Rabbi Ely E. Pilchik, Congregation B’nai Jeshurun, Short Hills, New Jersey
Sponsor: Rep. Joseph Minish (D-NJ)
Date of Prayer: 12 May 1981

Mr. MINISH. Mr. Speaker, it is an honor to present our guest chaplain, Dr. Ely Emanuel Pilchik, now retiring after 34 years as rabbi of Congregation B’nai Jeshurun in Short Hills, NJ. This historic congregation, founded in Newark in 1848, has been led by a man of impressive character and achievements.

Rabbi Pilchik came to this country from his native Russia in 1920. He earned his A.B. at the University of Cincinnati, his M.A. in Hebrew literature and his doctor of divinity degree from the Hebrew Union College. He has advanced education by his work as professor of Jewish thought at Upsala College, as president of the Jewish Book Council of America, as father of the Hillel Foundation at the University of Maryland, and as a prolific author.

Ordained in 1939, Rabbi Pilchik served congregations in Maryland and Oklahoma prior to his long and happy tenure at Congregation B’nai Jeshurun. He is immediate past president of the Central Conference of American Rabbis.

This distinguished clergyman, scholar, and teacher served his country as a chaplain in the Naval Reserve during World War II. He served 10 years on the New Jersey State Scholarship Commission before becoming one of the first lay representatives on the Ethics Committee of the Essex County Bar Association, at the request of former New Jersey Chief Justice Hughes.

I am happy to count Rabbi Ely Pilchik as a loyal and esteemed friend. On this occasion of his retirement from his faithful service to Congregation B’nai Jeshurun, let me extend to him congratulations and warm good wishes. Allow me also to thank Rabbi Pilchik for his inspiring words here today. May God continue to bless him and the congregation he has served so well.


Contribute a translationSource (English)
Creator of the universe,
Father of humankind,
Author of freedom:
We thank Thee
for this good sweet land,
for this vigorous, promising Nation,
for this dream of human dignity
all but fulfilled.
Humbly we pray Thee,
bless us, Thy people’s servants,
with will and way to reason together.
Invest our words with meaning,
our convictions with balance,
our decisions with beneficence.
Breathe Thy spirit into our counsels, O God,
that from this House shall radiate a great light
illuminating the lives of men and women the world over,
implementing the nobility of our American dream.

This prayer of the guest chaplain was offered in the fifth month of the first session of the 97th US Congress in the House of Representatives, and published in the Congressional Record, vol. 127, part 7 (12 May 1981), page 9266.


Congressional Record, vol. 127, part 7 (12 May 1981), p. 9266




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