- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Rabbi Morris Gordon, who helped establish more than a dozen local synagogues and helped create an international program for strong marriages and happy families, died March 26 of complications from a stroke at his home in Falls Church. He was 90.

Until the age of 6, Mr. Gordon lived in the Latvian frontier town of Baranowich, where war left him separated from his father, a Hebrew scholar who had traveled to America shortly before Russian soldiers occupied the small Jewish village after the outbreak of World War I.

As a youngster, Mr. Gordon helped care for his mother and sister while his father began building a life for the family across the Atlantic.

A quarter-century later, Mr. Gordon volunteered to go to the front lines as a chaplain in the U.S. Army Air Forces in World War II. As a chaplain, he served in the famed Flying Tigers unit under the command of Claire Chennault.

He was awarded the American Bronze Star and Chinese Medal of Honor for his involvement in the campaign to capture the Burma Road. Madame Chiang Kai-shek, wife of the leader of the Chinese Nationalists, acknowledged Mr. Gordon’s bravery in presenting the Medal of Honor to him.

After serving in the Army Air Forces, Mr. Gordon became the spiritual leader of Temple Adath Jeshurun in Minneapolis, where he befriended the city’s young mayor — Hubert H. Humphrey.

Mr. Humphrey went on to be elected a U.S. senator and vice president, and Mr. Gordon soon followed him to Washington, where he began helping the area’s fast-growing Jewish community build synagogues in suburban neighborhoods.

Since 1984, Mr. Gordon’s passion was to help couples and children of all backgrounds, cultures and religions.

That year he and his wife — Lori Heyman Gordon, an internationally acclaimed author and family therapist — established the nonprofit PAIRS Foundation to teach relationship skills.

The Gordons’ PAIRS program has touched countless lives through a network of more than 1,000 trained professionals and lay leaders who share their innovative emotional-development, communications and conflict-resolution techniques in 75 communities across the country and 15 nations.

Between them, Mr. Gordon and his wife authored or co-authored more than a dozen books and training manuals promoting healthy, happy relationships.

Mr. Gordon graduated as a rabbi with distinction from the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, where he was later awarded a doctorate.

He was a past president of the Rabbinical Assembly of Greater Washington, representative to the Interfaith Council, and former chairman of education of the Washington Board of Rabbis.

His history has been recorded by the Jewish War Veterans Museum and the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum to ensure his oral testimony and artifacts are preserved for generations to come.

Survivors include his wife, of Weston, Fla.; two children, Arlene Bar Yosef of Sataria, Israel, and Albee Gordon of Los Angeles; four stepchildren, Jonathan Eisenberg of Westfield, N.J., David Eisenberg of Needham, Mass., Seth Eisenberg of Weston, Fla., and Peggy Eisenberg of Weston, Fla.; 12 grandchildren and a great-granddaughter.

Memorial contributions can be made to the PAIRS Rabbi Morris Gordon Endowment Fund, c/o PAIRS Foundation, 11654 Plaza America Drive, #752, Reston, VA 20190.

Georgeanna Jones, 92,medical researcher

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