Rabbi Gerald “Jerry” Brieger, who served as spiritual leader of Temple Emanuel of Greater New Haven in Orange for 30 years, died on Sunday, August 7 at the age of 71.
Brieger, a former resident of Bethany, lived in Hamden. He was rabbi emeritus of Temple Emanuel, having served as spiritual leader of the Conservative congregation from 1977 until his retirement in 2007.
A New York native, Rabbi Brieger graduated from City College with a degree in Electrical Engineering, then changed paths and was ordained at Hebrew Union College (HUC) in New York. He studied Talmud and Rabbinics in a PhD program at HUC in Cincinnati, where he also served as the musical director of Temple Shalom Religious School. In 2001, he earned a Doctor of Ministry in Pastoral Counseling from HUC and the Post Graduate Center for Mental Health. For 16 years, he served as co-director of the International Torah Corps, a Jewish study camp for high school students in New Hampshire. He also served as a Hebrew instructor for the HUC-JR Cantorial program in New York. For the past year and a half, he resided at Meadow Mills in Hamden, an assisted living home for the memory impaired,
Rabbi Brieger was the son of the late Eleanor and Arthur Brieger. He is survived by his wife, Rita (Freed) Brieger, his stepchildren, Marla Horowitz Nutcher and her husband Gerard, and Jonathan Horowitz, his newborn stepgrandchildren, Norah and Evan Nutcher, and his brother Steven Brieger and his wife Carol and their family.