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Schwartzman, Sylvan David


SCHWARTZMAN, SYLVAN DAVID (1913–1994) U.S. Reform rabbi, academician, administrator. Schwartzman was born in Baltimore and received his B.A. from the University of Cincinnati in 1936. In 1941, he was ordained at *Hebrew Union College, which awarded him an honorary D.D. in 1981. In addition, he earned a Ph.D. from Vanderbilt University in 1952 and an M.B.A. from the University of Cincinnati in 1970. After ordination, he became rabbi of Congregation Children of Israel in Augusta, Georgia (1941–47), following which he spent a year as director of Field Activities for the *Union of American Hebrew Congregations (1947–48) and two years as rabbi of the Temple in Nashville, Tennessee (1948–50).

In 1950, Schwartzman was appointed professor of Jewish Religious Education at huc-jir in Cincinnati, where he remained until his retirement in 1981. While on the faculty, Schwartzman served as chairman of the Academic Senate and as faculty representative to the board of governors. In 1975, he was named dean of the Cincinnati campus of huc-jir, but resigned after one year because of what he termed the lack of a "free hand to carry out my responsibilities." For the entire 30 years of his tenure at huc-jir, he also served on the Reform movement's Joint Commission on Jewish Education; and for many years he was on the executive committee of the National Association of Temple Educators. Upon his retirement, Schwartzman was elected finance chairman of the *Central Conference of American Rabbis, and in that capacity also served as chairman of the Committee on Budget and Finance and on the executive board of the ccar (1981–83). He was also elected president of the National Association of Retired Reform Rabbis and was co-chairman of the group's Mitzvah Fund at the time of his death.

Schwartzman is the co-author of two critically acclaimed books, in two very different fields. His Our Religion and Our Neighbors (with Milton G. Miller, 1959, rev. 1963, rev. 1971), the first book ever published in Jewish religious education for the teaching of comparative religion, earned him the Emanuel *Gamoran Curriculum Award from the National Association of Temple Educators. His Elements of Financial Analysis (with R.E. Ball, 1977, rev. 1984) was selected for the "Investors Book Shelf of the Year" by Business Week magazine. He also wrote Reform Judaism in the Making (1955); Rocket to Mars (1953, rev. 1969); Reform Judaism Then and Now (1971); The Story of Reform Judaism (1949, rev. 1958); and The Living Bible (with J. Spiro, 1962).


The Nearprint Files of the American Jewish Archives, Cincinnati.

[Bezalel Gordon (2nd ed.)]

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