Rabbi David Hartman, promoter of Jewish pluralism, dies at 81

Click photo to download. Caption: Rabbi David Hartman. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.(JNS.org) Rabbi David Hartman, a prominent Israeli rabbi and philosopher of contemporary Judaism, has passed away at the age of 81, according to his family.

The Brooklyn-born rabbi was considered a leader of liberal Orthodox Judaism and was a strong promoter Jewish pluralism and inclusion.

“Rabbi Hartman was a visionary rabbi and scholar whose dedication to bridging the gaps of understanding among varying streams of Judaism have contributed enormously in strengthening the Jewish people,” AJC Executive Director David Harris said in a statement. 

Hartman, who held rabbinic posts in New York and Montreal, moved to Israel in 1971.

“I moved here in 1971 out of a belief that we were creating a new history, a new Jew. So, yes, we have a State, but there is something missing. We are missing people to instill a spiritual vision,” he said in a 2011 interview with Yedioth Ahronoth.

He founded the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem in 1976 to be “a center of transformative thinking and teaching that addresses the major challenges facing the Jewish people,” according to the institute’s website.  

Posted on February 11, 2013 .