Skip to main content

Sobel, Ronald

SOBEL, RONALD

SOBEL, RONALD (1935– ), U.S. Reform rabbi, interfaith activist. Sobel was born in Cleveland, Ohio, and received his B.A. from the University of Pittsburgh in 1957. He was ordained at *Hebrew Union College in 1962 and earned a Ph.D. from New York University in 1980. He was awarded an honorary D.D. from huc-jir in 1987, an honorary D.H.L. from Long Island University in 1983, and an honorary D.L. from St. John's University in 1994. Immediately following his ordination, he was appointed assistant rabbi at New York City's Temple Emanu-El and elevated to associate rabbi in 1968. In 1973, at the age of 37, he became the youngest senior rabbi in the history of the world's largest Jewish house of worship. By the time he became emeritus, in 2002, he had served in that position longer than any of his predecessors.

In the Reform movement, Sobel served as chairman of the Board of Rabbinic Alumni Overseers of huc-jir as well as a member of the college's board of governors. He was also a member of the board of governors of the American Jewish Committee (1972–75); chairman of the National Program Committee of the Anti-Defamation League; chairman of the Commission on Jewish Life and Culture of the American Jewish Congress (1982–84); chairman of the Synagogue Council of America's Commission on International Affairs (1975–77); and a trustee of the Jewish Braille Institute.

Sobel has been particularly active in interfaith affairs. In 1975, he was the first rabbi to preach from the high pulpit of Manhattan's St. Patrick's Cathedral, as part of a dialogue he initiated between Temple Emanu-El and the Cathedral. From 1977 to 79, he was chairman of the International Jewish Committee for Interreligious Consultation, the organization that represents the interests of world Jewry vis-à-vis the Vatican and the World Council of Churches. He also served on the boards of governors of the National Conference of Christians and Jews, the Religious News Service, the Association for Religion and Intellectual Life, and the Institutes of Religion and Health, in addition to serving as a vice chairman of the National Board of Religion in American Life. He also co-founded two grass-roots interfaith coalitions in New York City: the Yorkville Emergency Alliance on the upper East Side (1982) and A Partnership of Faith in New York (1991), a coalition of congregational clergy throughout the five boroughs.

In 2002, Sobel was the recipient of the annual Clergy Person of the Year Award from the Religion in American Life organization. He was appointed chairman of the New York Civil Rights Coalition in 2003.

[Bezalel Gordon (2nd ed.)]

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Sobel, Ronald." Encyclopaedia Judaica. . Encyclopedia.com. 19 Aug. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Sobel, Ronald." Encyclopaedia Judaica. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 19, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/sobel-ronald

"Sobel, Ronald." Encyclopaedia Judaica. . Retrieved August 19, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/sobel-ronald

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.