Faculty of Arts Professor Rabbi Sol Tanenzapf (right) died suddenly on March 18. A highly respected member of the York community who was deeply committed to his students, Prof. Tanenzapf first began teaching at York University in 1968. “Even after his retirement in 2002, he remained active in the York community working part-time and maintaining his contact with the students and the Division of Humanities, ” said Evy Strong, administrative assistant, Division of Humanities, Faculty of Arts. “We will miss him.”
In addition to being a senior scholar at York Univeristy, Prof. Tanenzapf was also a specialist in medieval and contemporary Jewish thought and was affiliated with the Centre for Jewish Studies at York University. As Rabbi Tanenzapf, he served the congregation at Beit Rayim Synagogue in Richmond Hill. He was known for providing an inspiring and informative D’var Torah for each Shabbat.
Before going to Beit Rayim, he was Rabbi of Congregation Shaareh Haim of Richmond Hill for 10 years. He was ordained a rabbi by the Jewish Theological Seminary of New York in 1968 and received the degree of doctor of divinity (honoris causas) in 1994.
Prof. Tanenzapf received his PhD from Yale University in 1967 and did a year of post-doctoral research at Oxford University (1972-1973). He leaves his wife Elaine and has two married sons, Shlomo Mark and Melech, and seven grandchildren.
At the request of the family, donations celebrating the memory of Prof. Tanenzapf should be made to the charity of one’s choice. Burial has taken place. Shiva directions can be found here.