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After receiving ordination from Rabbi Joseph Soloveitchik at the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary in 1941 he served as Rabbi and Senior Rabbi of Shaare Torah of Pittsburgh, PA (1942–2004), President of the Rabbinical Council of Pittsburgh (1949–1999) and was one of the original founders of the Hillel Academy of Pittsburgh. He was one of the very first Jewish leaders who advocated international efforts on behalf of Soviet Jews during the early 1950s, and wrote the award-winning Yiddish book In the Shadow of the Kremlin, as well as many articles regarding the plight of Soviet Jewry. Rabbi Poupko's doctoral thesis, completed at the University of Pittsburgh, "traces the history and status of Jewish religious adult education, analyzing the various emphases in curriculum of the three major religious ideologies." (American Jewish Year Book Vol. 66 (1965) 281)
Rabbi Poupko edited and co-edited 38 sermon volumes of the Rabbinical Council of America, including the scholarly Anglo-Hebrew volume Eidenu in memory of the founder and first president of Yeshiva University, Dr. Bernard Revel, the volumes in honor of Chief Rabbi Yitzhak HaLevi Herzog, Rabbi Joseph Soloveitchik, and the Centennial of YU, and Dr. Norman Lamm's 20th anniversary as President of YU.
Rabbi Poupko served as the National Vice President of the Rabbinical Council of America and as the National President of the Religious Zionists of America. He lived in Seattle, WA with his daughter, Rivy Poupko Kletenik, and son-in-law, Moshe Kletenik. He is the grandfather of Gilah Kletenik.
- "Poupko, Bernard." Encyclopaedia Judaica. Jerusalem: Keter, 1972.
- Rosenstein, Neil. The Unbroken Chain. Lakewood, NJ: CIS, 1990. p. 294
- American Jewish Year Book