The Zionist Conspiracy
Thursday, February 09, 2006
Rabbi Feivel Wagner, z'l
I was shocked and saddened to learn last night of the sudden tragic and untimely passing of Rabbi Feivel Wagner, longtime leader of Young Israel of Forest Hills, following injuries he sustained in an accident. A funeral was held for Rabbi Wagner yesterday, with the burial today in Israel.
In addition to the loss to Rabbi Wagner's family, Rabbi Wagner's passing is a very serious blow to the Forest Hills community, which suffers from a severe lack of spiritual leadership in its Ashkenazi shuls (aside from Rabbi Joseph Grunblatt of Queens Jewish Center, I'm not sure of any other active Ashkenazi pulpit rabbi in the entire neighborhood).
Somewhat paradoxically, despite being relatively close to the city, and despite the boom in nearby Kew Gardens Hills (a longer distance from the city), Forest Hills' frum community has been on a spiraling decline. The dearth of available houses is often attributed as the main factor for this, but doesn't completely explain why young people are willing to live in apartments in Manhattan, Riverdale and even Kew Gardens Hills, but not in Forest Hills.