Letter to the editor December 10

Letter to the editor December 10

For Rabbi Edelstein, a job well done

In the Nov. 19 Jewish Chronicle, I was pleased to see that Rabbi Jason Edelstein has taught at Saint Vincent College for 47 years (“Saint Vincent College honors Father, uh, Rabbi Edelstein with chair of Catholic/Jewish dialogue”). My father, Saul M. Fleegler, M.D., was one of the first Jewish students to graduate from Saint Vincent College in 1932.  While he took great pride in his Jewish upbringing, he could say the Hail Mary prayer as well as the other students. His upbringing in Latrobe and his experience at Saint Vincent helped him become a tolerant/respectful physician who practiced medicine in New Kensington for 48 years.  

When he was applying to medical school, Loyola University in Chicago told him that he would be accepted if he denied his Jewish identity. One of the Fathers at Saint Vincent knew my father would not assent.  He suggested that he apply instead to the Saint Louis University Medical School, and he agreed to call them on his behalf, if my father paid for the call. He was accepted and graduated in 1937. My father passed away in 2000 but always felt a strong sense of loyalty to Saint Vincent and to the many Fathers who visited our home.  Before he died, he established a scholarship providing special consideration for Jewish students applying to the school.

He would have been pleased to read about the establishment of a chair of Catholic/Jewish dialogue in Rabbi Edelstein’s name. Yasher Koach Rabbi Edelstein for teaching and counseling the many students who have walked the halls of Saint Vincent College.

Lois Fleegler Weinstein

Boca Raton, Fla.