Jonathan Eichhorn

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Jonathan Eichhorn


  • Graduate of Adelphi University 1957 (BA in History)
  • Ordained at Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati 1962 (MHL)
  • Honorary DD in 1987


Following in the footsteps of his father, Rabbi David Max Eichhorn, Jonathan became the second generation of Reform rabbis in his family.  Upon ordination, he entered the US Army Chaplaincy, serving as Seventh Army Chaplain in posts in Grafenwoehr (1962 – 1963) and Stuttgart (1963 – 1965), Germany.  In 1965, Jonathan assumed the position as rabbi at Temple Emanuel in Kingston, New York (in the mid-Hudson Valley), where he served as the spiritual leader for thirty-six years until his retirement in 2001 – the longest serving rabbi in the congregation’s history.  For thirty-five years, he also served as a part-time New York State prison chaplain at three facilities in the Hudson Valley.  He considers the enabling of a very talented Jewish inmate, upon his release from prison, to ultimately become cantor of Temple Emanuel and his successor as Chairman of the Ulster County Religious Council, to be one of the finest achievements of his rabbinic career.


Jonathan found his career at Temple Emanuel and as an army chaplain and prison chaplain very fulfilling.  He put forth much time and effort as a pastor and as an advocate for the Ulster County Jewish Community, the Interfaith Community, civil rights and various humanitarian issues.  During his service with the Jewish Federation and Israel Bonds, Jonathan strove to bring together all members of the Jewish community.  As a founder and chairman (for 25 years) of the Ulster County Religious Council, he initiated and facilitated projects with clergy and lay leaders of all faiths.  Jonathan worked with leaders in the Kingston community on initiatives regarding the homeless, hunger, drug use, etc., and was an outspoken opponent of the Vietnam War.  His involvement as a founder and Co-Chairman of “Ulster County as a Caring Community Project” (with community leaders of all faiths) provided the opportunity for him to deliver a paper on this Project’s accomplishments at the World Health Organization Conference in Jerusalem.  Throughout his career, Jonathan was often called upon as an advisor to local and state officials, as well as to our congressional representatives.  He was appointed a member of the New York State Civil Rights Commission by then Governor Mario Cuomo.


During his thirty-six years in Kingston, he was honored by the Ulster County Jewish Federation, by Israel Bonds, and by the Ulster County Chamber of Commerce as “Irishman of the Year” (an honor given to a community leader of “non-Irish” heritage).  Upon his retirement, he became Rabbi Emeritus of Temple Emanuel, and the congregation dedicated the Temple’s sanctuary in his honor.


Since moving to Maryland after his retirement, Jonathan has been a Jewish chaplain at the Brooke Grove Retirement Community and a speaker for the Himmelfarb Mobile University (sponsored by the Jewish Social Services Agency).  He and his wonderful wife of 52 years, Suzanne, now reside in Chevy Chase, Maryland.  They take special pleasure in sharing in the lives of their three children, their spouses, and six grandchildren.