Our family is just devastated and sad over the loss of Rabbi Leynor. Kind, funny, intelligent. He made us feel so comfortable with religion when our involvement varied on so many levels. He met us where we were emotionally and made each tutoring session educational, understandable and usually hilarious! He loved on our crazzzy puppy. The last time we saw him, he told us that there was proof that there’s a g-d, because there is no other way such a perfect creature could exist as he pointed to my dog. He will be missed and always remembered for how he made us feel so comfortable and at ease during some stressful times.
Jeffery Bart Leynor was born March 19, 1953 in Newark, New Jersey to Phillip and Evelyn (Tassler) Leynor. He grew up in South Orange, New Jersey, with his brother Neal and sister Brenna; his father a doctor, his mother a social worker, his grandfather a Rabbi. After graduation from high school, Jeffrey went to Hiram College in Ohio to pursue a pre-med major. While home for the summer, he met up with his high school buddies and created their band "The Stanky Brown Group," playing rock & roll together. They would go onto open for groups such as The Eagles, Beach Boys, Jefferson Starship, Doobie Brothers, and many more! Realizing that being in the music business was not going to pay the bills, Jeffrey returned to his roots and the values his parents instilled in him.
He remembered rabbis being on both sides of the family and sought counsel from his rabbi, Yechiel Orenstein who informed him of the requirements to pursue this endeavor, and so began his journey to the rabbinate. While at Rutgers, he met a professor who would influence him and encourage his growth. He traveled to Israel, studied religion, philosophy, languages, and Jewish studies. He graduated from Rutgers in 1983, Magna Cum Laude amongst other accolades. He then went on to attend the Jewish Theological Seminary College in New York, as well as seminary classes at Hebrew University in Jerusalem.
Rabbi Leynor was ordained as a rabbi in 1989 and came to Richardson, Texas to take a position at Congregation Beth Torah, where he served for 16 years.
He also taught classes at the Jewish Community Center, became a Chaplain for Plano Police and Fire Departments, and a Victim Chaplain with Dallas Police Department. He was a Pastoral Care Specialist, Suicide Intervention Trainer, a PTSD De-briefer, a Bereavement Counselor, and most recently a hospice chaplain for Legacy at Willowbend.
Jeffrey had two children, Perry and Keri, from his first marriage to Barbara. Later, he married the love of his life, Karen in 2001, gaining another son, Austin. He absolutely adored his wife and children and was heartbroken when Karen passed away suddenly in 2004. He made it a point to continue "living life" by devoting himself to his children and to the many community outreach programs he was a part of. He was unique, special, had a way with people, never met a stranger, and always had an ear to lend.
He touched so many, including marrying those that other Rabbis would not in the LGBTQ community and Interfaith couples. It was his second mission in life to help all. From cradle to grave, from simchas to shivas, Jeffrey was always there to lead the way. He underestimated the number of people he helped, and the many people who loved him as a result. He helped so many. His sage advice always offered a different perspective. He was a gentle soul and will be missed tremendously.
May his memory always be for a blessing to others.
Dallas, TX, United States 75225