Baruch Korff, the cleric sometimes known as “Nixon’s rabbi,” died of pancreatic cancer Wednesday in his home in Providence, R.I. He was 81.
Rabbi Korff, who believed that President Richard Nixon was a friend of the Jews and a savior of Israel during the Yom Kippur War of 1973, was the founder and self-appointed leader of the National Citizens’ Committee for Fairness to the Presidency, which he organized in 1973 to rally support for the president during the House impeachment hearings. He also was the founder and presiding trustee of the President Nixon Justice Fund, which raised $350,000 for the late president’s legal expenses after he resigned in August 1974.
Rabbi Korff, the rabbi of Congregation Agudath Achim in Taunton, Mass., from 1954 until his retirement in 1974, founded the committee in the waning days of the Nixon administration after he became convinced that the president was being persecuted by Congress and the press.
Korff was born in Novgorod in the Russian Ukraine on July 4, 1914. He attended Yeshiva College, New York University and the Cleveland Theological Seminary. In 1936 he was ordained to the rabbinate in Poland.