Beloved Augusta rabbi remembered, honored

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August 27, 2006

A local rabbi who devoted three decades to our community was remembered and honored in Augusta today.

The loss of a local Augusta rabbi is making a worldwide impact.

Rabbi Maynard Hyman was buried earlier this month in Israel, but he led a synagogue off of Walton Way for thirty years.

Today that synagogue held a memorial service in his honor.

"I wish he were right here with me, I'd give anything to get him back," said his wife, Evelyn Hyman. "I really feel like this [the memorial in Augusta] is a homecoming. These people have been in our lives for thirty years...we've been in their lives for thirty years."

For three decades he touched hundreds of lives.

"Rabbi Hyman was very much a part of our family," said Estelle Kreisberg. "He married our daughter."

"We were very, very close to him. He married us, he buried my wife's parents," said Jeff Gorelick. "He was a vital, vital spiritual leader in a true sense of the word."

Mike Teplitsky worked alongside Rabbi Hyman for 13 years. He came all the way from New York to share his memories.

"Today there are so many people here in the United States and in the country of Israel that owe everything that they are to Rabbi Hyman," he said.

The respected rabbi also served as a Jewish chaplain at Fort Gordon. He even took his teachings to Capitol Hill, where he delivered an opening prayer to the US Senate and a session of Congress.

But the majority of his ties stem from right here.

"Rabbi Hyman once said to me his fingerprints are all over this building, and take good care of it," said Rabbi David Surill. "Rabbi Hyman was one of those unusual people that really hung in there with his congregation and served them faithfully. And he will always be remembered in this community for the work he did at the synagogue."

Rabbi Hyman spent the remainder of his career serving the congregation Beth Shalom in Chattanooga, Tennessee. His wife plans to go there to continue her husband's work.

He is also survived by two children and six grandchildren.