Rabbi Yosef Goldstein, a pioneering Jewish storyteller who utilized radio, audiotapes and video to inspire generations with his uniquely crafted parables, stories and songs, passed away in Poway, Calif on March 7. He was 85 years old.
Popularly known as “Uncle Yossi,” Goldstein recorded some 14 audiotape cassettes with more than 50 stories and songs that highlighted Jewish ethical teachings within the context of entertaining and enlightening stories.
A leader in creating educational programming on the airwaves, Goldstein was the long-time host of “Tzivos Hashem on the Air,” which was broadcast for a decade throughout the United States.
Goldstein made his first recording in 1972, with the blessings and encouragement of the Lubavitcher Rebbe – Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, of righteous memory. He said that in all of his works, he aimed to instill a love for G‑d, the Torah and the Jewish people – the three pillars of Judaism – in the minds and hearts of children and young adults.
A popular speaker, Goldstein was often featured at children’s events and at parades on the holiday of Lag B’Omer. “Joyfully, I raise my hands to Hashem to thank Him for the merit of having been able to devote my life’s energies to the field of Chinuch al Taharas HaKodesh – Torah-true Jewish education,” he once said. “Words cannot express how gratifying it is to behold hundreds of Jewish children, on occasion, even thousands of them, all pure Jewish neshomos, souls, proudly pointing in all directions as they declare in song their firm emunah, faith, that ‘Hashem Is Truly Everywhere.’”
For more than 30 years, Goldstein served as associate principal of the Bais Yaakov Elementary School of Boro Park, in Brooklyn, N.Y., and continued to be involved in Jewish outreach and education during his later years.