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Rabbi David Hartman promoted Jewish pluralism

Rabbi David Hartman z"l(JNS.org) Rabbi David Hartman, a prominent Jewish philosopher of contemporary Judaism, died Sunday, Feb. 10 after a long illness. He was 81. Considered to be a pillar of liberal Orthodox Judaism and a strong promoter of Jewish pluralism and inclusion, Hartman was also founder of the Shalom Hartford Institute in Jerusalem. Born in Brooklyn in 1931 to an ultra-Orthodox family, Hartman was raised and educated at the Lithuanian Lakewood Yeshiva in New Jersey. Later, he was a student of Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik, a pinrciple figure in the history of modern Orthodoxy, who ordained him as a rabbi at Yeshiva University in New York. He completed his doctorate in philosophy at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. After serving as a pulpit rabbi at a number of congregations in North America, Rabbi Hartman, inspired by the Six Day War, moved to Israel with his wife and children. Hartman founded the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem in 1976 to be “a center of transformative thinking and teaching that addresses the major challenges facing the Jewish people.” He was the recipient of honorary degrees from Hebrew Union College, Yale University and the Weizmann Institute, the Avi Chai Prize, and two National Jewish Book Awards. Hartford is survived by five children – 16 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. He is also survived by his former wife, Barbara.

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