I was thinking about Rabbi Leynor today. Then found this. Shocked to find out he left us. He was such a kind, gentle person. What a blessing he was to me and to everyone.
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.
He officiated at my mother’s funeral last year and counseled my father afterwards, providing comfort and solace to my dad. I’m sorry to hear about his passing.
Karl and I are so sad to hear of your passing. Our time we spent with you was so valuable. May the lord Jesus walk beside you on your new journey. Our prayers go out to your family
Jennifer and I are truly sorry to hear about the passing of Rabbi Leynor. His true caring was his calling card and there was nothing but honest love from this man. He married my wife and I on September 18th 2005 and his wit and humor helped us get through the 105 degree day. An amazing man who will truly be missed.
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.
I cannot say how shocked I am to hear the news. Rabbi Leynor just Bar Mitzvahed my son Zachary on April 25th. This was his first virtual Bar Mitzvah and was so helpful and understanding. He touched us all the way he made it so special for Zachary and our entire family. He loved dogs and our dog Bella just loved it when he came over to tutor. He was so loving to her and caring. He will be sorely missed. - Jason Polkes
Rabbi Jeffrey Leynor z”l had been my personal rabbi, counsellor, and friend since Yom Kipur 1996. His absence can never be filled. He was a tzadik. Baruch Dayan HaEmet. Moshe David
Prayers of comfort for the Leynor family from James and Dianne Wilson, former South Orange, NJ residents and dear friends to Brenna and children.
words cannot express the tremendous hurt in my heart. I will miss you, Big Guy.
Jeffrey was a kind and gentle soul who left this world way too soon.
He was my rabbi, teacher.
God rest his precious soul.
What a great man and rabbi. He was always kind and artistic. I know he will be missed greatly within the Jewish community. My deepest condolences to family and friends .-Sara Bernstein
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Dallas, TX, United States 75225