Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion mourns the death of Dr. Paul M. Steinberg, a distinguished, charismatic, and beloved leader of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, where he served as Vice President and Dean for 50 years. Dr. Steinberg passed away on July 8, 2005 in New York City after a long illness. Funeral services were held at the College-Institute's New York School on July 11.
In his eulogy, Rabbi David Ellenson, HUC-JIR President, stated, "For fifty years Dr. Steinberg served this institution with a lifetime of contribution and love, through his administration, teaching, and mentorship of generations of students now serving the Reform Movement and the Jewish people worldwide. He touched the souls of his students by guiding their professional and spiritual growth, strengthened our faculty by appointing the leading scholars of Jewish studies, and left physical memorials as demonstrated through his leadership of the construction of our New York and Jerusalem campuses. Most importantly, his words and deeds are inscribed in the hearts of all those who were privileged to call him teacher and we all aspire to live lives that will be testimony to his enduring influence and spirit."
Shortly before his death, in an article published in HUC-JIR's Chronicle magazine (Summer 2005), Dr. Steinberg noted, "All of my skills and aspirations coalesced when I devoted my life's work to the College-Institute. HUC-JIR has given me models to learn from and the motivation to teach, to try to be an exemplar, to train, to contribute in some measure to the State of Israel, and to sustain the vitality and continuity of Jewish life, values, and heritage. My aspiration has always been the survival of the Jewish people through transmission of the Jewish cultural and ethical tradition and guarding against assimilation. All of my endeavors have been directed at ensuring that young people, and their families, see the richness of our tradition, take pride in it, love it, and value Jewish creativity and the indomitable Jewish spirit. I have wanted to inspire them so that they, in turn, will be the inspired teachers of Judaism."
Rabbi, teacher, mentor, Dean, and Vice President of the College-Institute, Dr. Paul Steinberg served HUC-JIR for decades with dedication, passion and skill. Dr. Steinberg's service to the College-Institute began in 1955. At HUC-JIR/New York, he served as Dean of the Rabbinical School, the School of Education, the School of Sacred Music, and as Dean of the New York School where he served the longest tenure of a Dean in the history of the College-Institute. He also assumed responsibilities for the development of the Jerusalem School and was appointed its first Executive Dean. At the time of his death, Dr. Steinberg served as Vice President for Communal Development. He also served on the Boards of the Jewish Braille Institute, the Albright Institute of Archaeology in Jerusalem, the Hospital for Joint Diseases, and Dorot. He was the President of the Gimprich Foundation.
Dr. Steinberg earned his B.S. in Social Science with Honors at the College of the City of New York and the M.S. in Educational Psychology at the School of Education at City College. He was ordained and received the Master of Hebrew Literature Degree from the Jewish Institute of Religion in 1949. He received his Doctorate in Psychological Services from Columbia University and has taught at Hebrew University, New York University, Baruch College, and the Army Management School.
After serving for twenty years as spiritual leader of Temple Adas in Sag Harbor, the oldest congregation on Long Island, Dr. Steinberg was named Rabbi Emeritus. He received the honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from Baltimore Hebrew University.
Dr. Steinberg, and his wife, Trudy, were honored by the College-Institute in 1998 with a special academic convocation and the establishment of the Dr. Paul M. and Trudy Steinberg Endowment Fund for the Teaching of Human Relations. In 2004, the Dr. Paul M. and Trudy Steinberg Distinguished Professorship in Human Relations and Counseling was established through a generous gift from the Irma L. and Abram S. Croll Charitable Trust.
Dr. Steinberg is survived by his wife, Trudy, their children, Lonnie and Alan, and grandchildren, Lindsay, Michael, Alex, Haley, Joshua, Arielle, and Natalie.
"Dr. Paul M. Steinberg: 50 Years at the College-Institute" in the HUC-JIR Chronicle magazine, Issue #65, can be found at www.huc.edu/chronicle.
Founded in 1875, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion is the nation's oldest institution of higher Jewish education and the academic, spiritual, and professional leadership development center of Reform Judaism. HUC-JIR educates men and women for service to American and world Jewry as rabbis, cantors, educators, and communal service professionals, and offers graduate and post-graduate programs to scholars of all faiths. With centers of learning in Cincinnati, Jerusalem, Los Angeles, and New York, HUC-JIR's scholarly resources comprise renowned library, archive and museum collections, biblical archaeology excavations, research institutes and centers, and academic publications. HUC-JIR invites the community to an array of cultural and educational programs which illuminate Jewish history, identity, and contemporary creativity and which foster interfaith and multiethnic understanding. www.huc.edu