JUF mourns the loss of Rabbi Herman E. Schaalman

Rabbi Schaalman was the oldest living Reform rabbi and his contributions to JUF, the Chicago Board of Rabbis, and the Jewish community are numerous.

schaalman obit image
In 1991, Rabbi Herman and his wife, Lotte, who died Jan. 13, celebrate Herman’s 75th birthday at Emanuel Congregation in Edgewater.

JUF Board Chair Michael H. Zaransky and President Steven B. Nasatir released the following statement on the passing of Rabbi Herman E. Schaalman to the JUF Board of Directors.

It is with great sadness that we inform you that Rabbi Herman E. Schaalman, former JUF Board member and past President of the Chicago Board of Rabbis, has passed away.

Read "Chicago Rabbi Herman Schaalman turns 100" from the May 2016 edition of JUF News.

Rabbi Schaalman was the oldest living Reform rabbi and his contributions to JUF, the Chicago Board of Rabbis, and the Jewish community are numerous. He came to Chicago in 1949 to serve as the Midwest Director of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations, and in 1956, he became the Senior Rabbi at Emanuel Congregation where he served for 30 years. One of his major contributions to Reform Judaism was his role in establishing the first summer camp for Jewish youth, Olin Sang Ruby Union Institute in Wisconsin.

Over the years, he has received many honors for his contributions to the Jewish community. Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning & Leadership (then known as Spertus Institute of Jewish Studies) awarded him the Doctor of Hebrew Letters degree,  honoris causa,  for his contributions in fostering strong Jewish participation in interfaith dialogue. In 1991, JCC Chicago named him an Honoree to their Hall of Fame. In 1999, Rabbi Schaalman was honored with the Julius Rosenwald Memorial Award, which is Federation's highest honor.


Rabbi Schaalman's contributions to the Chicago Board of Rabbis were evident in many areas. In 2012, he was honored by his colleagues with the Rabbi Mordecai Simon Memorial Award. He was also a devoted and active member of the Council of Religious Leaders of Metropolitan Chicago, and in 2014, he received its first Interreligious Leadership Award. Rabbi Herman was held with deep respect and genuine affection by all who knew him, both in the Jewish and broader religious communities. 

Memorial contributions may be made to Emanuel Congregation or OSRUI.

May the memory of Rabbi Herman Schaalman always be a blessing.

 




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