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Jacob Stein, Conference of Presidents Leader, Dies

Jacob Stein, who served as chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations during the Yom Kippur War of 1973, has died.

Stein died on Dec. 8, the first night of Chanukah.

As the Presidents Conference chairman during the Yom Kippur War, he reportedly was influential in convincing the Nixon administration to send immediate military aid to Israel.

“Jack was a great leader, devoted to his community, people, and country,” Richard Stone and Malcolm Hoenlein, respectively the chairman and executive vice chairman of the Presidents Conference, said in a statement. “He remained deeply involved with the Conference for decades after his tenure as chairman. He served during a time of serious challenges with total dedication and demonstrated unique qualities of leadership throughout.”

In 1981, Stein served as a full-time adviser in the Reagan administration and hosted the first Chanukah party at the White House. He served on the U.S. ambassadorial staff to the United Nations and to the Human Rights commission in Geneva.

Stein served as president of the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism and was a founder of Temple Israel of Great Neck on Long Island, in suburban New York.

A graduate of Columbia University, Stein operated a chain of clothing stores in the Northeast and in the 1950s he became a real estate developer on Long Island.

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