The Jewish community of the Five Colleges and Upper Valley joins the rest of the Jewish community in mourning the death 4/17 of our esteemed former Jewish Chaplain/Hillel Director Dr. Rabbi Arthur Hertzberg, z”l, a scholar and American Jewish leader involved in many of the most important Jewish events of the last sixty years. He was 84.
Dr. Rabbi Hertzberg (then studying for his PhD from Harvard) was Hillel Director of UMASS, Amherst College, Mount Holyoke College, and Smith during a few years of World War II. He describes this experience in one chapter of his autobiography.
You can get a sense of his personality and interests here at the NY Review of Books.
“May his disciples … and all who apply themselves in the study of Torah be granted heavenly salvation.” May his life and memory act as inspiration for us to create a better world using our ancient tradition.
Additional Biography Taken from Wikipedia:
"His love of Judaism and the Jewish texts was at the core of his controversial life as a rabbi, scholar, educator and Jewish communal leader. Over the course of his 50 plus year career, Rabbi Hertzberg served as a congregational rabbi, president of both the American Jewish Policy Foundation and the American Jewish Congress, vice president of the World Jewish CongressCatholic-Jewish dialogue that commenced during the papacy of Pope John XXIII. As a major public figure in the world of Jewish organizational life, Hertzberg was at the center of the crucial events shaping American Jewish life since the end of World War II. He walked with Martin Luther King, Jr., in the 1963March to Washington and Bloody Sunday at the height of the American civil rights movement, and Henry Kissinger. Hertzberg played a major role in some of the most significant issues the world Jewish community faced in the decades following World War II, including discussions with the Catholic Church over the still unresolved conflict over the Vatican's release of documents pertaining to Pius XII and the Holocaust, as well as his outspoken criticism of the policies of Israel toward the Palestinians.
Arthur Hertzberg received rabbinic ordination from the Jewish Theological Seminary in 1943 and a Ph.D. in history from Columbia University in 1966. He has taught at Princeton, Rutgers, Columbia, and Dartmouth. He was the Bronfman Visiting Professor of the Humanities at New York University from 1991 until his death in 2006. and a leading representative of world Jewry in the historic
In addition to his academic posts, Rabbi Hertzberg served as a chaplain in the United States Air Force from 1951 to '53 and rabbi of Temple Emanu-El in Englewood, New Jersey, from 1956 to 1985, where he remained as rabbi emeritus until his death. He also served as president of the American Jewish Policy Foundation since 1978, president of the American Jewish Congress from 1972 to '78, and vice president of the World Jewish Congress from 1975 to 1991.
Rabbi Hertzberg was a co-editor of Essays on Jewish Life and Thought (1959) and the author of The Zionist Idea (1959), The Outbursts That Await Us (1963), The French Enlightenment and the Jews (1968), which won the first Amran Award as the best work of nonfiction in the Jewish field, Judaism (1961), Being Jewish in America (1978), The Jews in America (1989), Jewish Polemics (1992), At Home Only with God (1993), The Zionist Idea (1997), and, with Aron Hirt-Manheimer, Jews: The Essence and Character of a People (1998)."