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Rabbi Mintz – Pioneer and Mentor

People who were lucky enough to have known Chuck remember him as wise, approachable, kind and caring— he was a certifiable “mensch” (a Yiddish word that means a person of integrity and honor).

He was a devoted and beloved husband, father, grandfather, mentor and friend. He was married for 50 years to the late Natalie Levine Mintz and they had three children. In 2002, he married Adele Hirsch Mintz and her three children became a part of the family.
In 1965, Rabbi Mintz joined clergy from diverse races and religions to march for five days and 54 miles alongside Martin Luther King, Jr. on the Freedom March. His participation was the inspiration for jazz great Dave Brubeck’s recording “The Gates of Justice,” a plea for brotherhood between blacks and Jews. The piece includes a Hebrew liturgical chant and the sound of the shofar (a horn used for Jewish religious purposes).

While serving a congregation in Texas, Chuck’s civil rights activism attracted the attention of President Lyndon Johnson. Their association grew into a bond so strong that Chuck would later say, “He was like a father to me.”

Chuck’s long career included being Senior Rabbi at temples in Pennsylvania, Minnesota and Texas, before settling in Northern California. Along with his wife Adele, he kept busy as the “cruise ship rabbi” for Holland America cruise line, conducting services, being available as a spiritual presence in cases of illness or death, but mostly enjoying the complimentary food and chance to see the world. Chuck often said, “It’s very difficult work, but some poor sop has to do it.”

Chuck appreciated his time at Bruns House. He loved his room, the garden, the nurses. “The Bruns House staff not only made him feel good, they made me feel good,” said Adele. “Bruns House is in my heart. I am so grateful that Chuck was able to stay there.”

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