Rabbi Mark Golub
Rabbi Mark Golub
Rabbi Mark Golub
Rabbi Mark Golub
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Obituary of Rabbi Mark S. Golub

Mark S. Golub, a trailblazing Rabbi and Jewish media icon who created the first national Jewish television network, died on January 31 at Weill Cornell Medical Center in New York City. He was 77 years old. 


Rabbi Golub was the founding president, CEO, and Executive Producer of JBS (the Jewish Broadcasting Service), a 24/7 Jewish cable network serving 75 million households representing every major cable system in the United States. JBS is devoted to strengthening Jewish identity, inspiring Jewish commitment, and fostering meaningful conversation to reach individuals across the spectrum of religious denomination, affiliation, and observance. Rabbi Eric Yoffie, president emeritus of the Union for Reform Judaism, called JBS a “treasure of the Jewish World,” and credited Rabbi Golub with fostering a place for “tough, insightful, in-depth, and always civil conversations that are exceedingly rare in the Jewish community.”


The flagship evening interview program on JBS, L’Chayim, was created by Rabbi Golub as a radio program in 1979, and has been continuously running on radio and television for over forty years. On L’Chayim, Rabbi Golub interviews Jewish leaders, thinkers and celebrities ranging from Eli Weisel to Alan Dershowitz, Dr. Ruth Westheimer, and Itzhak Perlman. Rabbi Golub had a dynamic and engaging interview style, and “his fearlessness and equanimity enable[d] him to raise the level of discourse” about critical topics in the Jewish community.


Rabbi Golub was ordained by Hebrew Union College in 1971, and was a pioneer of the chavurah movement. He founded Chavurat Aytz Chayim in Stamford Connecticut in 1972 and Chavurat Deevray Torah in Greenwich Connecticut in 1973. He served as rabbi of both congregations for over 50 years. His visionary approach to Jewish learning, which emphasized adult education, Torah study, and deep engagement with Jewish identity was a model for revitalizing Jewish communities.


Rabbi Golub’s roots as a media innovator date back to his college days at Columbia University, where he was general manager of the campus radio station, WKCR-FM, producing and hosting “Approaches to Religious Concepts,” which fostered conversation among Jewish, Protestant and Catholic Leaders. While in Rabbinical School at Hebrew Union College, Rabbi Golub partnered with his mentor, Dr. Eugene B. Borowitz, to create “Sh’ma Magazine,” designed to foster “a dialogue in difference” and “foster Jewish wisdom,” by inviting a plurality of voices to engage with matters critical to contemporary Judaism. This commitment to open, meaningful dialogue across the religious and political spectrum was central to Rabbi Golub’s mission and contribution to the Jewish world spanning his entire career.  The late Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel described Rabbi Golub as "a committed and passionate television professional who has enhanced Jewish understanding in the general Jewish community through programming he has created,” saying that there was “no one more suited to head the first national Jewish channel in America than Mark Golub."




Rabbi Golub, who was named one of Newsweek’s “50 most influential rabbis” in 2009, and was the recipient of an honorary doctorate from the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in New York, which described him as an “Innovative Rabbi” whose “gifts as a communicator have helped disseminate the meaning of Judaism, whose commitment to Torah has inspired and enlightened the Chavurot he founded and sustains, whose experience and creativity have earned him a position of leadership in Jewish broadcasting, and whose spirit finds expression in his religious conviction and in his artistic talent.”


In response to the growing number of Russian-speaking refugees from the former Soviet Union, Rabbi Golub founded RTN in 1992, the first Russian language television channel in America, and built it into a nationwide presence that has become a household name for Russian families across the United States


Outside his work and family, Rabbi Golub had a passion for the theater. With his brother, David S. Golub, he produced Broadways plays and won three Tony Awards. Rabbi Golub was also an avid softball player, managing and playing for the Four Corners for over 40 years, winning five state and one national championships.


Rabbi Golub is survived by his wife, Ruth, and their five children and five grandchildren. 


A Funeral Service will be held at 1 PM on Thursday, February 2, 2023 at Temple Beth El 350 Roxbury Road Stamford, CT. Interment will follow at Beth El Cemetery, Stamford, CT.


Services are under the care of Thomas M. Gallagher Funeral Home located at 104 Myrtle Ave. Stamford, CT 06902 (203) 359-9999. For online condolences please visit Gallagherfuneralhome.com



Funeral Service

1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Thursday, February 2, 2023
Temple Beth El Synagogue
Roxbury Road
Stamford, Connecticut, United States
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