HUC-JIR Presents Doctor of Divinity, honoris causa, to Murray J. Berger, Ph.D.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Rabbi David Ellenson, President of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, awarded Rabbi Murray J. Berger with the Doctor of Divinity at Graduation Ceremonies in New York on Thursday, April 29, 2010, at Congregation Emanu-El of the City of New York.  Rabbi Berger was honored for 25 years of scholarly distinction as an alumnus of HUC-JIR.

Rabbi Berger was born in 1937 and grew up in Cleveland, OH, where he resided until 1957.  Upon completion of his sophomore year at Western Reserve University, he transferred to the University of Cincinnati and HUC-JIR.  He was ordained as rabbi in 1963 with a BA, a BHL, and a MHL with Honors.

He married Roberta (Bobbie) Schwartz in 1963 and subsequently volunteered to serve in the US Army as Champlain.  Rabbi Berger had a distinguished career, with almost 35 years of service reaching the rank of Colonel.  He retired in 1997, having been awarded the Legion of Merit Medal.

Rabbi Berger served as a full-time congregational Rabbi for more than 16 years, from 1965 to 1977, in Parkersburg, WV; Montgomery, AL; Terre Haute, IN; and Dallas, TX.  During that time, Rabbi Berger continued his education, receiving his MS in Counseling and Guidance from Troy State University in 1972 and his Ph.D. in Counseling and Psycholoical Services from Indiana State University in 1984.  In 1981, Rabbi Berger went into full-time private practice with his wife Bobbie in Counseling and Psychology, and he is currently practicing.

Always loved in the Jewish community, Rabbi Berger has served as part-time Rabbi with several small congregations in the Texas area.  He serves on many organizational boards, and is currently National Deputy Chaplain for the Jewish War Veterans of the USA.  He will mark his 50th year as Rabbi and ordination in June, 2013.

Rabbi Berger is the father of three adult children; Karyn, Allan, and Heidi; and has two grandchildren, Mikko and Elli, and two step-grandchildren, Rachel and Daniel.


Founded in 1875, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion is North America's first 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 North American and world Jewry as rabbis, cantors, educators, and nonprofit management professionals, and offers graduate programs to scholars and clergy of all faiths. With centers of learning in Cincinnati, Jerusalem, Los Angeles, and New York, HUC-JIR's scholarly resources comprise the renowned Klau Library, The Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives, research institutes and centers, and academic publications. In partnership with the Union for Reform Judaism and the Central Conference of American Rabbis, HUC-JIR sustains the Reform Movement's congregations and professional and lay leaders. HUC-JIR's campuses invite the community to cultural and educational programs illuminating Jewish heritage and fostering interfaith and multiethnic understanding. www.huc.edu