Volume 75, Number 11 | August 3 - 9, 2005


Rabbi Paul M. Steinberg, 79, dean at Jewish Institute

Rabbi Paul M. Steinberg, a dean at Hebrew Union College Jewish Institute of Religion at 1 W. Fourth St., died of cancer on July 8 at a hospice in Riverdale at the age of 79.

Although he had been ill for a long time, Rabbi Steinberg remained a presence on the campus until June, said a spokesperson for the college institute, a leading center of Reform Judaism.

In addition to administrative duties as dean, he was the Stinsheimer distinguished service professor of Jewish religious education and human relations.

Born on the Lower East Side, he went to the Herzliya Hebrew Teachers’ Academy and then to City College where he studied education, sociology and psychology. After graduating in 1946, he worked for Americans for Haganah — a group that ran guns to Jewish forces in Palestine — at the same time as taking the rabbinical program of the Jewish Institute of Religion where he became a follower of Rabbi Stephen S. Wise.

He was ordained a rabbi in 1949, the year before the institute merged with Hebrew Union College, and became an instructor in the merged institution in 1955. He was appointed dean of the school of education and music soon after. Rabbi Steinberg established suburban satellite schools offering certification in Jewish education and at his death was the longest-serving dean in the college institute.

His wife of 58 years, Trudy Strudler Steinberg, survives. A daughter, Alana Wittenberg of Los Angeles, a son, Dr. Alan L. Steinberg of Stony Brook, and seven grandchildren also survive.

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