Rabbi Simon Burnstein, 63, rabbi of the Southeast Hebrew Congregation in Silver Spring and executive vice president of the Rabbinical Council of Greater Washington, died Friday at Holy Cross Hospital in Silver Spring. He had a heart ailment.
Born in Poland, Rabbi Burnstein was the 25th generation of rabbis in his family. He came to the United States with family members when he was five, and grew up in New York City.
In 1941, he received a rabbinical degree from the Rabbinical Seminary of America and a bachelor's degree from Brooklyn College. In 1942, he moved to Washington and was appointed rabbi of the Southeast Hebrew Congregation, then located in Washington. The congregation moved to Silver Spring in 1971.
Rabbi Burnstein also had served as a civilian chaplin at the Marine Corps Base at Quantico, and at Andrews Air Force Base.
During World War II, he was active in Vaad Hatzala, a group formed to rescue European Jews.
Rabbi Burnstein, who lived in Silver Spring, was a teacher and former executive director of the Hebrew Academy of Greater Washington and a former teacher and chairman of the board of religious education at the Yeshiva High School of Greater Washington. He had served as executive vice president of the Rabbinical Council of Greater Washington for the past 12 years.
Survivors include his wife, Sara, of Silver Spring; five daughters, Eva Goldstone of Elizabeth, N.J., Anita Preis of Baltimore, Rochel Schmuckler of Kew Gardens Hills, N.Y., and Sandra Steinburg and Deborah Burnstein, both of Silver Spring; a son, Naphtali, of Baltimore, four sisters, Rose Burnstein of Elizabeth, N.J., Lea Leiter of Jerusalem, Israel, and Bella Goldstone and Regina Brodsky, both of Brooklyn, and 14 grandchildren.