The passing of Nathan Pollak on Oct. 26 sent shock waves throughout the Jewish community. Nathan was a dynamic worker for many Jewish causes, and his sudden demise left an enormous spiritual and physical vacuum.
Nathan was born in Sighet, Hungary in 1930. He was a descendent of forebear was Lipman Heller, a great rabbinic figure in the late 16th and early 17th centuries, well-known for his commentary on the Mishna called Tosphot Yom Tov. His maternal grandfather was Rabbi Shlomo Heller, the Rosh Bet Din of Sighet.
At 14, Nathan was transported to Auschwitz with his family. As a Holocaust survivor, he immigrated to the United States in 1947. He excelled in his studies at George Washington High School in upper Manhattan and completed the four-year course in two and a half years. He continued his higher education at City College of New York.
The Army drafted Nathan to serve in the Korean War and assigned him to the Judge Advocate section. During his service Nathan married Lorraine Bick; they were married for almost 50 years.
Nathan retired from the restaurant consulting business in 1981 due to illness. A longtime member of the Young Israel of Los Angeles, Nathan introduced many innovations and served as their president for six years.
In 1991, Nathan volunteered to assist Rabbi Rubin Huttler at Perutz Etz Jacob Hebrew Academy and became their executive director. His dynamic leadership put the school on the map. Nathan was active in every aspect of the school's administration.
His memory will be cherished by his dear family and the multitudes of children he helped to receive a Torah education. Nathan Pollak is survived by his beloved wife, Lorraine; daughters, Honey (Isaac) Schulman and Barbara (Mark) Bovit; and 10 grandchildren. -- Eva Yelloz