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Bamberger, Bernard Jacob


BAMBERGER, BERNARD JACOB (1904–1980), U.S. Reform rabbi, scholar, and author. Bamberger was born in Baltimore, Maryland, educated at Johns Hopkins University (1923), and ordained at Hebrew Union College (1926). After serving as rabbi of Temple Israel in Lafayette, Indiana, where he continued to study at huc earning a D.D. (1929), Bamberger moved to Congregation Beth Emeth in Albany, where he remained until 1944. He next served as rabbi of Congregation Shaarey Tefila in New York City until his retirement in 1970. Bamberger combined his service as a pulpit rabbi with an active life of community service and scholarship. He wrote several scholarly and popular books. They include Proselytism in the Talmudic Period (19682); Fallen Angels (1952), a study of Jewish demonology and its influence on Christian thought; The Bible: A Modern Jewish Approach (1995); and Story of Judaism (1957). He served as president of the Synagogue Council of America (1950–51), and of the Central Conference of American Rabbis (1959–61) and later as president of the World Council for Progressive Judaism. He was a member of the interdenominational Jewish Publication Society's Bible translation committee that led to the new translation of the Bible and was the author of a modern commentary on Leviticus (1979) that served as part of the Union of American Hebrew Congregation's modern commentary published in its entirety after his death.

[Hillel Halkin]

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