Rabbi Mordecai Podet, aged 91, died November 30, 2013. A funeral service will be held at Temple Rodef Sholom, 1717 North New Road, Waco, Texas, at 11a.m., Wednesday, December 4, followed by interment at the Rodef Sholom Cemetery, 1529 Garden Drive.
Rabbi Podet was born in New York City in 1922 to Reverend Irving M. and Becky Podet. He earned a B.A. degree from Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, and a Master of Hebrew Letters from the Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1951. In 1976 a seminary awarded him an honorary Doctor of Hebrew Letters degree. Rabbi Podet served as a U.S. Navy chaplain on the Sixth Fleet and N.A.T.O. installations, and retired with the rank of Commander. From 1954 to 1961 he occupied the pulpit of Congregation Bnai Israel, Salt Lake City, Utah. In 1961 he was called to Congregation Judea in Coral Gables, Florida, and in 1964, to Congregation Rodef Sholom in Waco, Texas. He became Rabbi Emeritus in 1988. He served for many years on the Waco Veterans Administration Medical Center Committee on Human Studies, the Providence Hospital Medical Moral Committee, and the Hillcrest Baptist Hospital Biomedical Ethics Committee. In 1990, he was designated to form the Ethics Advisory Committee of Waco's Veterans Hospital and was long its chairman. He was a past president (1971-72) of the Downtown Waco Rotary Club. In 1967, he established its televised youth knowledge competition, which won Rotary International's Significant Achievement Award that year. In 1982, he was named to the Rotary District Roll of Fame.
He was on the boards of directors of the Waco Action Planning Council (1967-73), the Economic Opportunities Advancement Corporation (1968-71), the McLennan County Planned Parenthood Association (1969-72 and 1984-85), the McLennan County Association for Mental Health (1969-83), and Vanguard High School (1974). In 1988 the Waco Conference of Christians and Jews named him Humanitarian of the Year. In 1986, he authored Pioneer Jews of Waco. He has been Lecturer in the Department of Religion of Paul Quinn College, and in the J.M. Dawson Institute of Church-State Studies of Baylor University. He was Jewish chaplain for the Central Texas Veterans Health Care System, which in 2012 awarded him a plaque in appreciation of fifty years of faithful service to the United States Government.
He was pre-deceased by his wife, the former Norma C. Davis Yonover of Chicago.
Survivors include his very dear friend Marjorie Sanger; son Ethan and his wife, Irene Wolski of Houston; daughter Eve and husband, Michael Finucane, of Lexington, Kentucky; grandchildren, Adam, Janine, and Jonathan; and brother, Allen Podet and wife, Valerie Jill, of Buffalo, New York.
The family invites you to leave a message or memory in our "Memorial Guestbook" at www.wilkirsonhatchbailey.com