RIO DE JANEIRO (JTA) – Jacob Dolinger, one of Brazil’s most distinguished authorities on international law, who was Jewish, died in Israel.
Dolinger, who died Oct. 27, was a lawyer and author of nearly 100 books and articles. Fluent in Portuguese, English, French, Spanish, Hebrew, and Yiddish, he taught in various universities in the U.S. and worldwide.
“He was one of the most brilliant minds in Brazilian Judaism. A Torah scholar and mitzvot-abiding, he has been a teacher of generations,” Israel’s honorary consul in Rio, Osias Wurman, told JTA.
Dolinger was born in 1935 in Antwerp, Belgium. In 1940, the family fled to Brazil.
“He was a leader in defense of Judaism and Zionism. A hard-working activist and writer for a Jewish state, he had a life crowned with accuracy and consistency,” added Wurman.
Eight years ago, Dolinger immigrated to Israel from Rio. He chose Ra’anana, the Tel Aviv suburb that today is considered the “Brazilian capital in Israel,” home to some 300 Brazilian families.
In Rio, he had presided over the Petropolis yeshiva and the Kehilat Yaacov synagogue, where last December Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed a Jewish crowd during the very first visit of a sitting Israeli prime minister to Brazil.
In 2008, Dolinger was professor advisor to current Justice of the Supreme Federal Court, Luis Roberto Barroso, who is also Jewish.
Dolinger was one of the four Brazilian professors that prepared the bills to replace the country’s Law of Introduction to the Civil Code, of 1942, which rules on Brazilian Private International Law.