Rabbi killed in small plane crash in Middletown

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WAWAYANDA, N.Y. — The president of a Jewish seminary has been killed in a small plane crash in New York.

The Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute says Rabbi Aaron Panken died Saturday.

The Federal Aviation Administration says two people were on a plane that crashed Saturday morning shortly after taking off from Randall Airport in Middletown, New York. That’s about 70 miles northwest of New York City.

The FAA didn’t release names or conditions, but a spokeswoman for the seminary says 53-year-old Panken was a skilled pilot and was on a routine flight. There was no information immediately available about the second person.

Panken had been installed in 2014 as president of the institute, which is a seminary for Reform Judaism and has campuses in New York, Los Angeles, Cincinnati and Jerusalem.

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