The Rabbi Nathanial and Shirley Pollack Memorial Foundation

Legacy 613 was founded through the generosity of The Rabbi Nathanial and Shirley Pollack Memorial Foundation. Rabbi Dr. Nathaniel Pollack and his wife Shirley dedicated their lives to working with Jewish communities in Colorado and California, where Rabbi Pollack served as a pulpit rabbi and Shirley taught Hebrew. Rabbi Pollack, z”l, who passed away in 2006, was also a dedicated chaplain who worked at the R.J. Donovan Correctional Facility in San Diego until his death.

Shirley Pollack, z”l, who passed away in 2009, shared her husband’s dedication to the Jewish people and causes they both loved. She was a lifelong member of Hadassah and she supported her husband’s alma mater, Yeshiva Chaim Berlin in Brooklyn, as well as charities that protect abused women.
Shirley Pollack also felt very strongly about the need for Modern Orthodox schools to teach Jewish youth middot and character development, another initiative Legacy 613 expects to launch in the future.

To those who knew them, Nat Pollack was a vibrant, outgoing personality whose energy and enthusiasm belied his years. Shirley was a reserved, highly intelligent woman who was instrumental in donating the bulk of their estate to charities.

The Pollacks cared deeply about the future of the Jewish people, but sadly had no children. The Pollack Memorial Foundation is a fulfillment of their lifelong missions - Jewish education and pastoral care.

Thus, the foundation is committed to donating funds to making prayer a priority in Jewish education and to teaching Jewish chaplaincy and medical ethics in Israel, working with the Barkai Center for Practical Rabbinics in Modi’in, Israel.

Connecting the priority of prayer education in our schools and Jewish chaplaincy was easy for the Pollacks. Traditional Jewish chaplaincy focuses on prayer as a means of connection to God at times of personal suffering and family crisis. Prayers for undergoing a spiritual crisis don't usually appear in the siddur. They are often spontaneous, emotional pleas, expressed in words and tears, originating from the heart. The professionally trained chaplain knows how to identify the spiritual and psychological needs of the patient and articulate them on his or her behalf in a very powerful, personal way, when the patient is unable to do so.

Rabbi Nathanial Pollack was a chaplain who personified these qualities, bringing warmth, light, and hope to all he served. It is with this spirit in mind that the Pollack Memorial Foundation selected the Barkai Center for Practical Rabbinics in Israel as its first beneficiary.