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Two New York City rabbis die, both diagnosed with coronavirus

Two New York City rabbis have died, both diagnosed with coronavirus.

Rabbi Romi Cohn of Staten Island, a 92-year-old and Holocaust survivor who had fought as a partisan in World War II, succumbed to the disease, the website The Yeshiva World reported.

Cohn was also a mohel who performed thousands of circumcisions free of charge and trained hundreds of mohels himself. He gave the opening prayer at the House of Representatives in January on the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz concentration camp.

Rabbi Yaakov Meltzer of Queens also died; he’d been diagnosed with the virus but died because of other factors, The Yeshiva World reported.

Meltzer, 60, was also a physician assistant and was a member of the Queens Hatzolah, the local Jewish volunteer paramedic organization, for 35 years, according to Yeshiva World. Family members told the organization that Meltzer also had a heart condition.


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Some 125 New York City residents have died of the coronavirus, city officials said Monday. Jewish communities throughout the state have seen clusters of outbreaks.

Aiden Pink is the deputy news editor of the Forward. Contact him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @aidenpink

Correction, March 24, 1:49 p.m.: A previous version of this story cited another source which stated that Rabbi Yaakov Meltzer died of coronavirus; he actually died of other factors, although he had been diagnosed with coronavirus as well.

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