Rabbi Albert Plotkin was called the "rabbi of the city" upon his death in 2010 by a fellow rabbi.
Rabbi Plotkin had been a rabbi in Phoenix, Arizona since 1955. For the 1st 40 of those years, he served Temple Beth Israel (now known as Congregation Beth Israel) as it's full-time senior rabbi. During those years, Temple Beth Israel was located immediately northwest of downtown Phoenix in what now is a campus of Phoenix College. Rabbi Plotkin, his wife Sylvia, and their children lived within walking distance, about 5 blocks away from the synagogue.
Rabbi Plotkin was well-loved and appreciated by his congregation, as evidenced by one congregant at the time of his death when she spoke in behalf of her family: "We will miss his wisdom, his good humor and compassion, and even in the face of his own personal tragedies, his optimism. His strong and melodious voice-even in his last few months-will remain in our memories forever."
In addition to his synagogue responsibilities, Rabbi Plotkin's involvements were many, foremost among which included the following:
- Ardent support for a Jewish state. He strongly supported the Zionist movement and, once the state was created, Israel.
- Ardent advocate for civil rights. He was outspoken in his commitment to the rights of all.
- Founding of the Jewish Studies Program at Arizona State University (ASU) and teaching courses there.
- Volunteering as a chaplain at Phoenix Veterans Hospital for some 25 years.
- Teaching at All Saints Episcopal Church, where he was called the "rabbi in residence."
- Supporting his wife Sylvia in her efforts to create what would become the Sylvia Plotkin Judaica Museum at Congregation Beth Israel.
- Instrumental in founding and serving The Jewish Community of Sedona.
- Assisting another synagogue, Temple Gan Elohim, to establish itself in Glendale.
As another said upon his passing, Rabbi Plotkin "...helped Arizona become more enlightened." It appears that Rabbi Plotkin was an excellent representative of the Jewish people.