Deceased Information


    Joel Hearshen

    Yakov ben Moshe Baer v'Chaya Bracha

  • AGE



    Thursday, May 25, 2023 (Before Sunset)


    Sunday, May 28, 2023


    1:00 PM



    Meeting ID: 891 2860 1331

    Passcode: 010659


    Meeting ID: 874 8391 1382

    Passcode: 279746


    Greenwood Cemetery


    • ❖ Congregation Or VeShalom Future Fund


    Joel Ruskin Hearshen, beloved husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle and friend passed away on May 25, 2023, at the age of 78. Joel was born on December 14, 1944 in Detroit, Michigan to Beatrice and Berl Hearshen.

    He is survived by his wife of 50 years, Nancy Hearshen; his children Rachel (Christian) Rickwardt of Frankfurt, Germany and Rabbi Josh (Carrie) Hearshen of Brookhaven, Georgia; his sister and brother-in-law Fern and Mike Halem of Moorpark, California; his two granddaughters, Ayelet and Galit Hearshen and he is pre-deceased by his brother and sister-in-law Norman and Elaine Hearshen. He is also survived by nieces and nephews, cousins and numerous family and friends.

    Joel spent his career as a Social Science teacher in the Detroit Public School system along with working as an Adjunct Professor at Madonna University in Livonia, MI. During the summers he enjoyed working as a house painter with a fellow educator. Joel was a voracious reader who loved history and learning about the nations of the world. He served as a board member of his synagogue, Temple Emanu-El in Oak Park, Mi. 

    He was a joyful person who was inquisitive and filled with knowledge of the world that far outreached his education. He loved to laugh and he loved to tell stories. His family was very important to him and he spent his happiest times with them. When he became a grandfather he began his second life as one of the greatest ones ever made and there was nothing that he wouldn’t do for his two granddaughters. He loved music, especially the music from his childhood and formative years. He also loved to take trips in the car and to drive all over our wonderful country. Joel was always happy in the kitchen where he and his wife, Nancy, would make all sorts of delicious dishes for themselves and for their family.

    Some of Joel’s happiest times were spent reading books, both fiction and non-fiction. He always adored the summers that he, Nancy, and their children spent in Charlevoix, MI. During his retirement he enjoyed volunteering at the Detroit Zoo and he also volunteered with meals on wheels and the annual Christmas Day volunteer program in Metropolitan, Detroit.

    Joel lost his battle with bladder cancer on May 25, 2023. His fight began in August of 2022 and he fought with courage and with resolve that he would beat it. This battle was filled with ups and downs though he believed and his family believes that he will never be defined by it. 

    The funeral was held on May 28, 2023 at 1:00pm at Congregation OVS and will be followed by burial at Greenwood Cemetery in Atlanta, GA. The family asks for memories to be shared on Joel’s Mi Alma page at Donations can be made to the Congregation Or VeShalom Future Fund.


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Joel Hearshen

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  • Dominic and Penny Piantedosi

    Dear Family members,Penny and I sends our sincere condolences for the passing of Joel Hearshen. We remember how happy he was to invite us to Josh's Bar Mitzvah,Rachel's Bat Mitzvah.The pride he felt as we raised funds to sent his son Josh to Israel.Farwell dear brother, you have left this world but not our hearts>Dom and Penny Piantedosi.

  • stella deleon

    Rabbi: I am so very sorrry for your loss

  • Tziporah Sharp

    I briefly met Joel via my sister and brother in law, Tina and Ross Stonefield, and am grateful for those few moments and a couple of phone it was clear that he is a kind-hearted soul. and a loving husband and family man. May he be experiencing complete rest and shalom, and may his neshama have an aliya; may his family be comforted among the mourners of Zion and Yerushalayim.

  • Tina Edelman Stonefield

    Ross and I will always remember his sweet soul. I am so grateful to have reconnected with Joel and to have enjoyed bonding with my cousin over the past precious years. May his entire family find comfort in sweet memories.

  • Barbara & Jess Kraft

    Our deepest condolences on the loss of such a wonderful man. May fond memories bring you and your family much comfort.

  • Ken & Sharon Chupack

    Our deepest condolences for your entire family.

  • Diane & Kevin (McEwen-) Martin

    We send our deepest sympathies to Rachel, our dear friend, and the entire Hearshen family. You are all in our hearts as you go through this difficult time.

  • Dale and Bob Israel

    We are so sorry for your loss. Thinking of you and your loved ones during this hard time.

  • Sharon Dworkin

    So sorry for the loss of your father. May his memory be for a blessing.

  • Kaska Miskolczi

    Words are never enough. May his memory be a blessing and he rest in peace.

  • M. Pinkhasova

    We are very sorry about your father, Rabbi. Please accept our condolences.

  • Ashleigh Dobrin

    Dear Rabbi, My sincere condolences to you and your lovely family on the passing of your dear father, Joel. “Grief is not a sign of weakness, nor a lack of faith ….. It is the price of Love “ ??

  • Moe and Sherri Soriano

    Our thoughts are with you at this difficult time. So sorry for your loss.

  • Ann and Mike Silver

    Mike and I are so very sorry for the loss of your dear father. May his memories bring you much comfort. Our deepest condolences to the entire family.

  • Jeannine and Aaron Altmann

    Rabbi Hearshen ,so sorry of the loss of your father.Our sincere condoleances to you and your family.Our thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time.May his name be for a blessing.

  • Tamar and Guy Harari

    We are sorry for your loss. Our condolences to the family. May he rest in peace.

  • Debbie Cohen & Kenny Sobel

    May memories of the heart comfort your soul.So very saddened to hear of the loss of your dear father,husband,and grandfather.Our thoughts are with you.

  • Elisheva Lindsey

    Our prayers and thoughts are with you at this time. May the G-d of all comfort be with you. Elisheva

  • Kathie & Steve Alhadeff

    Dear Rabbi, Carrie, Nancy and Family Our thoughts and prayers are with you all as you mourn the loss of your wonderful father and husband and grandfather. May his memory be for a blessing.

  • Karl & Michelle Braun

    May his memory be a blessing and an inspiration. Our thoughts and hearts are with you.

  • Amy and Robert Arogeti

    So sorry for your family’s loss. Joel was a kind sweet soul and he will be missed by many people. May his memory be for a blessing??

  • Lynn Handmacher Chanin & Butch Fowler

    Butch & I are sending much love and strength. May his memory be a blessing. Xoxo