Late Reform rabbi called great religious leader
Published: September 7, 2005
WASHINGTON (CNS) -- The late Rabbi Balfour Brickner "was one of the great leaders of Reform Judaism and one of the greatest American religious leaders of the second half of the 20th century," said Eugene Fisher, an associate director of the U.S. bishops' Secretariat for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs. Rabbi Brickner, rabbi emeritus of the Stephen Wise Free Synagogue in New York, was widely known in the 1960s, '70s and '80s for his activism in interreligious affairs and on a variety of social and civil rights issues, including early opposition to the Vietnam War. He died in New York of lung cancer Aug. 29 at the age of 78. After founding Temple Sinai in Washington as a young rabbi in 1952, he moved to New York in 1961 as co-director of the National Commission on Social Action of Reform Judaism's Union of American Hebrew Congregations, a post he held until 1980. The union, the main national organization of the Reform branch of Judaism, recently renamed itself the Union for Reform Judaism.
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