This morning, we gathered to celebrate the life and service of one of our beloved Police Chaplains, Rabbi Solomon Rothstein.
Rabbi Sol, 94, was a 20-year member of the BBPD family and the first Jewish police chaplain in our department’s history. He presided over countless agency celebrations and memorials, but more importantly, he brought us comfort, peace and words of wisdom during many of our personal life events, including marriages, births and funerals.
Rabbi Sol grew up in the Bronx, NY, during the Great Depression. He served in the U.S. Army, which is where he developed his interest in Rabbinical studies. His mother wanted him to be an engineer. Rabbi Sol went on to become the first spiritual leader of Congregation Gesher Shalom / The JCC of Fort Lee in 1952. He served over 20 years before relocating his family to California, where he was a Rabbi at Temple Ramat Zion in Northridge, CA, and a police chaplain for LAPD‘s Devonshire Division.
Affectionately known as the Rabbi to the Stars, Rabbi Sol was a good friend of Buddy Hackett and even spoke at the comedian’s funeral in 2003. Funny enough, he had a small part playing a minister in the 2006 movie the Boynton Beach Club, which starred Dyann Cannon and was filmed throughout the area.
Rabbi Sol presided over countless weddings and often partnered with his close friend and another beloved BBPD Police Chaplain, Rev. Rick Riccardi, to preside over Interfaith wedding ceremonies around the country. Rabbi Sol was also a licensed speech pathologist who spoke three languages.
We invite you to learn more about his long and illustrious career from him directly. In September, Rabbi Sol sat down (via Zoom) with Rabbi Barry Silver, spiritual leader of Congregation L’Dor Va-Dor to share stories about his life. https://youtu.be/9RqmbTxN8xw
We love you, thank you and will miss you, Rabbi Sol. May your memory be a blessing to everyone whose life you touched.