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Alfred J. Kolatch, a graduate of the Teachers' Institute of Yeshiva University and its College of Liberal Arts, was ordained by the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, which subsequently awarded him the Doctor of Divinity degree, honoris causa. Early in his career, he served as rabbi of congregations in Columbia, South Carolina, and Kew Gardens, New York, and as a chaplain in the United States Army.
Rabbi Kolatch has authored more than fifty books, the most popular of which are the best-selling Jewish Book of Why and Second Jewish Book of Why, The Jewish Book of Why: The Torah, The Jewish Mourner's Book of Why, The New Name Dictionary, The Comprehensive Dictionary of English & Hebrew First Names, The Family Seder, and The Jewish Child's First Book of Why. His most recent works are Great Jewish Quotations, The Presidents of the United States & the Jews, and Masters of the Talmud.
In addition to his scholarly work, Rabbi Kolatch has served as president of the Association of Jewish Chaplains of the Armed Forces and as vice-president of the interdenominational Military Chaplains Association of the United States.