50 Year Honorees

 

George Astrachan


Jonathan Brown


Edward Chesman z'l


Lawrence Colton


Michael Eisenstat


Adam Fisher

Adam D. Fisher is a prize-winning author of poetry, stories and liturgy...
After graduating from Colgate University in 1962 with high honors in philosophy and religion, he was ordained as a rabbi at Hebrew Union College, Jewish Institute of Religion in 1967 where he later earned his Doctor of Hebrew Letters in 1971. After two years as a Chaplain in the US Navy he served Agudath Shalom Congregation in Lynchburg, Va from1969 to 1971. In 1971 he was named rabbi of Temple Isaiah, Stony Book, NY from which he retired in 2002. He was one of the founders of the Shalom Interfaith Partnership, a social service program designed to assist rabbis, ministers and priests. He has written two books of liturgy: Seder Tu Bishevat(CCAR Press), and An Everlasting Name, a service and readings for remembering the Shoah (Behrman House). He has also written To Deal Thy Bread to the Hungry (UAHC), a social action handbook. His book of stories, God's Garden (Behrman House), was written for children. He also wrote four books in Behrman House's Home Start Series of Jewish holidays for pre-school children. He is the author of My Jewish Year (Behrman House), a religious school textbook on Jewish holidays. Fisher has published four books of poetry: Rooms, Airy Rooms ( Writers Ink, Cross Cultural Communications and Behrman House), Dancing Alone (BirnhamWood/ LI Quarterly), Enough to Stop the Heart (Writers Ink) and Hanging Out With God (Writers Ink.)

In addition he has published short fiction and many articles. He is winner of a First Prize for Poetry at the Westhampton Writers Festival, two first prizes in Performance Poets Association contests, and an Anna D. Rosenberg Poetry Award sponsored by the Magnus Museum in Berkeley, California. He was Poetry Editor (2006-2014) of the CCAR Journal, the Journal of the Central Conference of American Rabbis.

Adam is a skilled woodworker who creates furniture as art, and more recently, a potter. He is a native Long Islander where he continues to live with his wife, Eileen. They have two married daughters and five grandchildren.

 

Allen Freehling

A native of Chicago but raised in Miami, Allen Freehling was graduated from the University of Miami...
and then spent 10 years as a corporate, synagogue and university administrator before becoming a rabbinic student at HUC-JIR in Cincinnati where he was ordained in 1967. He served for five year as Associate Rabbi at The Temple in Toledo before he became Senior Rabbi at University Synagogue in Los Angeles where he served for three decades before becoming that congregation's Rabbi Emeritus. Along the way, he became a much honored champion of human rights and social justice. Thus, during the next 10 years, he was the first rabbi invited to manage a department in City Hall where he directed the City of Los Angeles Human Relations Commission and then completed his career there as the Deputy Chief of Staff for a member of City Council. After that, he and his wife, Lori, moved to New Orleans where they now reside. He is the father of three adult children, the grandfather of six and the great-grandfather of three.

Bruce Freyer


Robert Gan

Rabbi Gan was born in Boston, Massachusetts. He received his B.A. from the University of Cincinnati...
and was ordained in 1967 at Hebrew Union College. He moved to Los Angeles with his wife Sheila and children Michael and Hilary in 1969, after serving as the Jewish Chaplain at Ft. Lewis in Washington and joined Temple Isaiah in Los Angeles, CA as its first Associate Rabbi. In 1979, Rabbi Gan became Temple Isaiah's second senior rabbi succeeding Rabbi Albert Lewis. For thirty-eight years, he had the wonderful opportunity of teaching, leading and being part of the lives of several generations of Temple Isaiah families. Involved in the larger community as well, Rabbi Gan held the presidencies of the Southern California Board of Rabbis, the Pacific Association of Reform Rabbis, ARZA/World Union, and the Inter-Religious Council of Southern California. Over the years, it has always been his great joy to be immersed in a giving and caring congregation committed to social justice, the acquisition of knowledge and deeds of loving kindness. In 1992, he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Divinity from HUC.

Gordon Geller


Mark Goldman

Rabbi Mark N. Goldman and his wife, Dr. Meryl Goldman, have chosen St. Augustine...
and Temple Bet Yam -- Temple By The Sea -- as their new home, relocating after 18 years of service to K.K. Bene Israel/Rockdale Temple, in Cincinnati. He is being welcomed with an outpouring of affection and respect by the Bet Yam Reform Congregation, as the Temple's first Rabbi-In-Residence.

Rabbi Goldman was ordained a Rabbi in 1967, upon graduation from Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati. He also received Master's and Bachelor's degrees of Arts in Hebrew Letters from HUC/JIR. Rabbi Goldman attended the the University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music and graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a major in English literature from the University of Cincinnati College of Arts and Sciences in 1962.

Rabbi Goldman served as U.S. Army Chaplain from 1967-69, was Assistant Rabbi for three years at Temple Emanu-El, New York, and served as the Rabbi in Temple Sinai of Long Island, Lawrence, NY, from 1972-86.

During his 18 years as Senior Rabbi, in Cincinnati, Rabbi Goldman's activities included: Instructor and Guest Lecturer and Field Work Supervisor in Practical Rabbinics, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion; Mentor in Mayerson mentoring program for rabbinic students; faculty member at Cincinnati Reform Jewish High School; Created High Holy Day prayer books, combining the Union Prayer Book with the gates of Repentance; frequent speaker and teacher on interfaith issues at area churches; community activist for civil rights and Quality-Of-Life issues.

The Goldmans have three adult children and six grandchildren.

Ronald Goldstein z'l


Larry Halpern


Steven Jacobs

Rabbi Steven Jacobs founded the Progressive Faith Foundation...
an organization dedicated to promoting the cause of interfaith acceptance among Jews, Christians, and Muslims. In addition, Rabbi Steven Jacobs maintains involvement with the Muslim-American Homeland Security Congress of the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department.

Possessing an extensive background of academic and practical training, Rabbi Steven Jacobs began preparing for his career as a student at New York University, where he earned a Bachelor or Arts in Sociology. Following this, he gained acceptance to Hebrew Union College of Cincinnati, Ohio. While there, he earned a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts in Hebrew Letters.

After obtaining his degrees, Rabbi Steven Jacobs traveled to Miami to become Assistant Rabbi to Rabbi Joseph Narot at the Temple Israel of Greater Miami. Later, he became Co-Rabbi with the Temple Judea in Tarzana, California. In 1984, he formed the Temple Kol Tikvah of Woodland Hills, California, before founding the Progressive Faith Foundation.

Leon Kahane z'l​ 


Morton Kaplan


Leon Klenicki z'l


Howard Kosovske


Allen Krause z'l


Stephen Levinson z'l


Lewis Littman


Stanley Nash


Michael Oppenheimer


James Perman


Ferenc Raj

Rabbi Ferenc Raj was born at the height of World War II in Budapest, Hungary...
He survived the Holocaust through the heroic efforts of the Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg. At a very early age he and his brother, both witnesses to the continued destruction of Jewish life in Hungary, determined to become rabbis and dedicate their lives to the preservation of Judaism. As a young rabbi in Communist Hungary, Ferenc was closely involved in the Jewish underground movement as one of the organizers and leaders of Zionist programs. In 1972, under the threat of imprisonment for teaching Jewish studies and Hebrew to the young, an activity that was strictly forbidden, Rabbi Raj escaped from Hungary for America. Rabbi Raj continued his rabbinic career in America serving Reform congregations in Brooklyn, New York and Belmont, Massachusetts prior to his election as Senior Rabbi of Congregation Beth El of Berkeley California.

Ferenc is a graduate of both the University of Budapest where he earned a Master's Degree and a Diploma of Merit in Near Eastern Studies, and the Jewish Theological Seminary of Hungary where he was ordained as a Liberal rabbi in 1967. He continued his post-graduate studies at Columbia University and Brandeis University and taught Jewish history courses at HUC-JIR (Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion) of New York. In 2004 Ferenc successfully defended his PhD dissertation entitled: "A History of the Jews in Hungary during Ottoman Domination: 1526-1686" at the Near Eastern and Judaic Studies Department of Brandeis University in Waltham Massachusetts.

Prior to this academic accomplishment, in 1992 the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion conferred the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Divinity upon Rabbi Raj, "Whose commitment to learning is in the highest tradition of the Rabbinic calling, who studied and prepared for the Rabbinate behind the Iron Curtain and taught our people the values and ideals of Judaism at great personal danger and risk, whose personal life epitomizes the Rabbinic commitment to furthering our religion, who rebuilt his life and rose to positions of leadership in his community."

Rabbi Raj retired from Congregation Beth El on June 30, 2007 and continues in his role as Rabbi Emeritus of this prestigious Berkeley synagogue. He is also Founding Rabbi of Bet Orim Reform Jewish Congregation, Hungary's newest Jewish congregation in Budapest, where he spends two periods of approximately 2-4 months each leading the congregation. Together with the Temple's lay leadership he has developed engaging and inspiring liturgy, meaningful educational projects for all age groups, community building events and leadership training. Ferenc conducts weekly Sabbath services, performs life cycle ceremonies and leads egalitarian High Holy Day and Festival services. Since Rabbi Raj is fluent in both Hungarian and English, he is able to reach out to Budapest's English speaking Jews who otherwise might be lost in a Hungarian synagogue.

During the Fall Semester of the Academic Year 2009-10 he was appointed visiting professor at the Eötvös Loránd University where he taught graduate courses on Jewish philosophy. This year Ferenc will continue teaching at the Pázmány Péter Catholic University, where he is also an active participant of the ongoing Christian-Jewish Dialogue conferences and other interfaith projects. In addition to his rabbinic duties on two continents, Rabbi Raj is currently a visiting scholar at the Graduate Theological Union and at the Institute of Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies of the University of California in Berkeley.

He is married to Paula Raj, an inner city high school teacher. They have four children and nine grandchildren.

Bernard Robinson


Mayer Selekman

In July 1999, Rabbi Mayer Selekman was named Rabbi Emeritus...
after serving Temple Sholom in Broomall, PA for 28 years. Rabbi Mayer came to the pulpit of Temple Sholom in 1971. He completed his M.H.L. studies at the Jewish Theological Seminary, then earned an M.A.H.L. and was ordained at Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion, where he also taught for several years. In 1992, he was granted a Doctor of Divinity degree. Since coming to the Philadelphia area, Rabbi Mayer has taught at Gratz College, Villanova University, and the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College. He served as president of Life Guidance Services, Inc., for five years and has also been president of both the Marple Newtown Caring Coalition and the Marple Newtown Clergy Association. Rabbi Mayer is known to all of us for his personal warmth as well as his spiritual leadership.

John Sherwood z'l


Allen Smith


Samuel Stahl

Rabbi Samuel M. Stahl became Rabbi Emeritus...
of Temple Beth-El, in San Antonio, Texas, in 2002, after serving for 26 years as its Senior Rabbi. During his tenure, the congregation grew from 900 to over 1250 families. From 1967 to 1969, he was a U.S. Army Chaplain in Ft. Belvoir, Virginia, and Seoul, Korea. He served as Rabbi of Temple B'nai Israel (The Henry Cohen Memorial) in Galveston, Texas, from 1969 to 1976.

A native of Sharon, Pennsylvania, he received his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Pittsburgh in 1961. He was graduated with honors and was ordained a Rabbi in l967 from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati in 1967.

In 1975, he was awarded the earned degree of Doctor of Hebrew Letters from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in medieval Bible commentaries. He also received honorary doctorates from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion and Oblate School of Theology.

While in Galveston, Rabbi Stahl was active in many local civic and religious associations. He was the first Rabbi ever to be elected President of the Galveston Ministerial Association.

He was a member of the Board of Directors of the San Antonio Chapter of the National Conference of Community and Justice, the peaceCenter, the South Texas Blood and Tissue Center Foundation, and the Santa Rosa Children's Hospital Foundation. He founded the San Antonio Chapter of the Americans United for the Separation of Church and State. He was a member of the Martin Luther King Memorial City-County Commission and headed its Scholarship Committee and the Chair of the Holocaust Memorial Museum of San Antonio.

He lectures annually at Texas Lutheran University. During the 1982-83 fall semester, Rabbi Stahl was Alumnus-in-Residence at the Cincinnati School of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, where he shared his insights into the work of a congregational Rabbi with rabbinical students. In the summer of 2003, he was the Theologian-in-Residence at Chautauqua Institution in New York, where he has lectured and currently serves on the staff of its Department of Religion.

He is the Past President of the Southwest Association of Reform Rabbis, as well as the Kallah of Texas Rabbis. He was the first Rabbi to serve as Co-Chairman of the Jewish-Christian Forum of the Texas Conference of Churches and to receive the Distinguished Religious Leadership Award from the San Antonio Community of Churches. He also received accolades from Texas Lutheran University and the Texas Conference of Churches for strengthening interfaith relations and from Israel Bonds for supporting Israel's economic development.

He was the Editor of the Journal of Reform Judaism, the official quarterly publication of the Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR) for six years. He was also the Chairman of the Joint Commission on Continuing Rabbinic Education of the CCAR and HUC-JIR. He also served on the National Board of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations and the Executive Board of the Central Conference of American Rabbis.

He is the author of Making the Timeless Timely: Thoughts and Reflections of a Contemporary Reform Rabbi and Boundaries, Not Barriers: Some Uniquely Jewish Perspectives on Life and has written numerous articles for national Jewish and general publications.

He and his wife, Lynn, are the parents of two daughters, Heather Katz and Alisa Cimmino, and have six grandchildren.

Cary Yales z'l

Henry Zoob

Rabbi Zoob served as the rabbi of Temple Beth David...
of Westwood, MA for thirty-six years. He became the temple's Rabbi Emeritus in July 2006. Rabbi Zoob was the founding President of the Rashi School, the Boston Area Reform Jewish Day School. In 1989 he was awarded a Keter Torah Award by the Boston Bureau of Jewish Education in recognition of his pioneering work in Jewish Day School Education. He was a founding board member of the Gann Academy (The New Jewish High School). He helped initiate the Beit Din (Rabbinical Court) of the Boston Area Reform Rabbis and served as the first Rosh (Head) of the Beit Din from 1998 to 2001. He received the Nachshon Award from Mayyim Hayyim, Living Waters Community Mikveh and Education Center in 2006. He is a past President of the Massachusetts Board of Rabbis, past Chairman of the Boston Area Reform Rabbis, past President of the Westwood Interfaith Council and is on the National Rabbinic Cabinet of the United Jewish Appeal. Rabbi Zoob grew up in Philadelphia, and received a BA from Harvard University in 1961. He was ordained at the Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC - JIR) in 1967, earned a Masters Degree in Bible at Brandeis University, and an honorary Doctorate from HUC - JIR.