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Berman, Myron R.


BERMAN, MYRON R. (1928– ), U.S. Conservative rabbi. Berman was born in New York, educated at the City College of New York, and ordained at the Jewish Theological Seminary. He also received a B.H.L. from its seminary college as well as an M.H.L. and an honorary D.D. degree. He served as chaplain in the United States Air Force, serving in New Mexico and Japan. He received his Ph.D. from Columbia University in 1963. From 1965 until his retirement in 1993, he served as rabbi of Temple Beth-El of Richmond, Virginia, a community he served as an educator, a civil rights activist, and a historian. His writings include Richmond's Jewry, 1769–1976: Shabbat in Shockoe (1979) and The Attitude of American Jewry Towards Eastern European Jewish Immigration, 1881–1914 (1980), in which Berman demonstrated that American Jews, while helping individual immigrants, acquiesced in restrictive immigration laws in the late 19th century; it was only after the *Kishinev pogrom in 1903 that American Jews sought to liberalize immigration policies for their East European brethren. Berman came to Temple Beth-El in Richmond, Virignia, in August 1965 after serving as associate rabbi for Beth-El in Cedarhurst, New York, for seven years. He was the first rabbi to serve as president of the Richmond Area Clergy Association, He received the Richmond City Medallion for communal service and later was honored by the National Conference of Christians and Jews. He received a citizen's award from the Henrico Police Department. Berman had served as chairman of the board of education for the seaboard region of the United Synagogue.

Berman was a member of the Virginia-Israel Commission, appointed by Governor Baliles. He wrote the introductions to both Holocaust curricula published by the State of Virginia, and he was also a consultant to the state's commission on social studies. More recently, he served as a member of the Henrico 2000 Committee, which forecast trends in education for the next decade. He was cited by Hadassah Magazine and Surroundings as among Richmond's most influential citizens.


P.S. Nadell, Conservative Judaism in America: A Biographical Dictionary and Sourcebook (1988).

[Bezalel Gordon (2nd ed.)]

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