C. Peter R. Gossels

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C. Peter R. Gossels
BornAugust 11, 1930
Berlin, Germany
ResidenceWayland, Massachusetts
EmployerWeston Patrick
Spouse(s)Nancy Lee Tuber

C. Peter R. Gossels (born August 11, 1930) is an attorney practicing in Massachusetts. He is a contributor to professional journals and co-editor of a number of Jewish prayer books, including Vetaher Libenu, the first siddur to use non-sexist, inclusive language, published in 1980.[1]

Early life[edit]

Gossels was born in Berlin, Germany on August 11, 1930. He and his younger brother, Werner F. Gossels, were sent to France by their mother, Charlotte Lewy Gossels, and were placed at the Chateau de Chabannes in the Creuse in 1941 by Oeuvre de Secours aux Enfants in Creuse. The boys were given visas through the American Friends Service Committee who worked with the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee to bring them to the United States in September 1941.[2][3][4][5] Gossels was featured in the 2001 Emmy-winning film, Children of Chabannes, produced and directed by his daughter, Lisa R. Gossels. The documentary tells the story of how the people of Chabannes, a small village in occupied France, saved the lives of 400 Jewish refugee children, including the two Gossels boys.[6][7]


Gossels attended Boston Latin School before graduating from Harvard College and Harvard Law School.[5][8] He served in the United States Army from October 1954 until July 1956.[9]

Gossels moved to Wayland, Massachusetts in 1961. After serving as a member of the Finance Committee of the Town of Wayland, Massachusetts between 1966 and 1968, and as Wayland’s Town Counsel for eleven years, Gossels was elected Moderator of the Town of Wayland in 1982. He served as moderator until 2011. During this time, he implemented the first system of electronic voting to be used at New England town meeting.[1][5]

Legal career[edit]

He was admitted to the Massachusetts Bar in 1955, the U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts in 1957, the U.S. Court of Appeals, First Circuit in 1957, and the Supreme Court of the United States in 1965. Gossels first law firm position was with Sullivan and Worchester as a trial lawyer. In 1965, Gossels became a partner in the firm of Zelman, Gossels and Alexander.[1] Gossels served as Chair of the Section on International Legal Practice of the Boston Bar Association between 1962 and 1967. In that capacity, he organized and produced The New England Conference on Legal Problems of Doing Business Abroad, which attracted large audiences each year.[10][11] In 1970, he worked with Michael Dukakis, soon-to-be Governor of Massachusetts, to create and enact the first system of no-fault automobile insurance protection in the United States.[12] Gossels joined the Boston law firm of Weston Patrick in 1972.[1]

He co-authored the report of the Boston Bar Association Work Group on cost and time efficiencies in the Massachusetts courts in 2005.[1] Gossels has published articles in the Boston Bar Journal and Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly.[13][14]

Gossels served as Chair of the Fee Disputes Committee of the Boston Bar Association from 2000 to 2010, and as a hearing officer for the Massachusetts Board of Bar Overseers from 2006 to 2012. He has earned the highest “A.V.” rating from the publishers of the Martindale Hubbell Law Directory.

Other activities[edit]

Since 1998, Gossels has hosted an annual two-hour cable television program in Wayland, Massachusetts, “Ask the Candidates – Live!” which allows voters ask questions to public office candidates in Wayland, Massachusetts.[15][16] Gossels was included among Boston's Top Rated Lawyers, according to the Boston Globe 2012 and 2014 ratings.[17][18]

Gossels served on the National Commission on Worship of the Union for Reform Judaism between 1976 and 1981.[citation needed]

While serving as president of Congregation Beth El of the Sudbury River Valley in Sudbury, Massachusetts (1977–1979), Gossels served as co-editor with his wife Nancy Lee Gossels and Joan S. Kaye of the first egalitarian Jewish prayer book (or siddur) Vetaher Libenu published in 1980. The book featured nonsexist, inclusive language and revised the traditional Hebrew translation of "Barukh atah Adonai Eloheinu, melekh ha'olam," or "Praised are You, Adonai our God, Ruler to the Universe," to "Holy One of Blessing, Your Presence Fills Creation."[1][19][20][21] Gossels also served as co-editor of Chadesh Yamenu an egalitarian machzor for Rosh HaShana (1997) and Canfay HaShachar (2003), a siddur for weekday morning prayers.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Elizabeth F. Fideler (February 2014). Men Still At Work. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. ISBN 1442222751.
  2. ^ "Peter Gossels, Du château de Chabannes en 1941 au barreau de Boston". OSMOSE, the journal of L'OSE (Oeuvre de Secours aux Enfants). December 2009 – January 2010.
  3. ^ Evelyn Wolfson (March 9, 2015). Legendary Locals of Wayland. Arcadia Publishing.
  4. ^ Katy Hazan (April 2014). Rire le jour, pleurer la nuit. Calmann-Lévy. ISBN 2702154603.
  5. ^ a b c Susan L. Wagner (November 7, 2013). "Keynote speaker picked for Wayland Veterans Day event". the MetroWest Daily News. Retrieved October 19, 2015.
  6. ^ Lisa Gossels
  7. ^ Kevin Thomas (November 23, 2000). "All for the sake of the children: A French village's courageous efforts to shelter Jewish youngsters during WWII is chronicled in a documentary days presentation". Los Angeles Times.
  8. ^ Wolfson, Evelyn (2015). Legendary Locals of Wayland. Arcadia Publishing. p. 116. Retrieved March 15, 2016.
  9. ^ Book of Remembrance. Wayland Veterans Memorial.
  10. ^ "International Legal Practice". Boston Bar Journal: 20–21. June 1962.
  11. ^ "International Legal Practice". Boston Bar Journal: 24–26. June 1963.
  12. ^ Schwartz, Gary (December 2009). "AutoA No-Fault and AND First-Party Insurance: Advantages and Problems". Southern California Law Review. 73:611: 612.
  13. ^ Gossels, C. Peter R. (December 2005). "Why should Probate Rule 16 Trump Rule 27B?". Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly.
  14. ^ Gossels, C. Peter R. (February 1960). "Gifts to Minors: Income Tax Consequences of Massachusetts Support Law,". Boston Bar Journal.
  15. ^ "Wayland's clouded Sunshine Week". MetroWest Daily News. March 23, 2015. Retrieved January 26, 2015.
  16. ^ Brooklyn Lower (March 19, 2013). "Gossels Gears Up for 15th Annual 'Ask the Candidates Live'". Patch. Retrieved January 26, 2015.
  17. ^ "Comprehensive Guide to the Boston Area's Legal Talent". Boston Globe. Retrieved April 26, 2012.
  18. ^ "Law.com".
  19. ^ Hitchcock, H.H. (1992). The Politics of Prayer: Feminist Language and the Worship of God. Ignatius Press. ISBN 978-0-89870-418-1. Retrieved 24 May 2015.
  20. ^ Sidney Schwarz (September 2003). Finding a Spiritual Home. Jewish Lights. ISBN 1580231853.
  21. ^ Vetaher Libenu. Massachusetts: Congregation Beth El of the Sudbury River Valley. 1980. p. 6.