Rabbi Herbert Rose, z”l

star-of-davidThe following obituary appeared in the Sarasota Herald-Tribune on November 30, 2013:

Nov. 13, 1929 – Nov. 27, 2013

Rabbi Herbert H. Rose, 84, of Sarasota Florida, beloved husband, father and grandfather, passed away peacefully Wednesday evening surrounded by his wife, all of his children and grandchildren. He was born in New York into a family of rabbis stretching back many generations in Europe as well as the United States. He was educated in New York City schools and graduated from the University of Cincinnati in 1950, Phi Beta Kappa, and received the Proctor Scholarship (Proctor and Gamble bestowed this award upon an outstanding University of Cincinnati student each year.).

He entered the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC) and was ordained as a rabbi in 1955 with High Honors and the degree of Master of Hebrew Letters. He later earned a Doctorate of Hebrew Letters and was awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Divinity from HUC.

The day after his ordination, he married Esther Burgin of Cincinnati, Ohio, and entered the US Air Force as a chaplain, where he served for two years, after which he was honorably discharged as a Captain in the Reserves.

He then served as assistant to the renowned Rabbi Abba Hillel Silver in Cleveland, Ohio and later served congregations in the New York area. He was a founder and the first chairman of the Long Island Committee for Soviet Jewry in the late 1960s and was a forceful advocate for the Jews in the former Soviet Union who had been banned from practicing Judaism and freely emigrating. He served as executive vice-president of the New York Board of Rabbis and as president of the Long Island Association of Reform Rabbis.

In midlife Rabbi Rose went west and served Congregation Har HaShem in Boulder, Colorado for 12 years from 1983 to 1995, and was named emeritus upon his retirement. He was honored at that time by the congregation as a “true scholar, teacher of Torah, and ardent supporter of Israel.” During his years in Colorado he served as president of the Rocky Mountain Rabbinical Association.

Rabbi Rose and his wife then retired to Florida where he continued to guide and serve several small congregations in the area that needed rabbinical assistance. Continuing a career-long interest in interfaith dialogue, Rabbi Rose was the first Jewish member and President of the Ocala Ministerial Association. He was an active member of The Interfaith Alliance of the USA. Throughout his long career, Rabbi Rose was held in high esteem by his rabbinic colleagues and by his congregants, who respected his wisdom and insight in spiritual and personal matters.

Rabbi Rose published many articles and authored The Life and Thought of A.D. Gordon, a book about the influential Zionist philosopher and spiritual patriarch of the Kibbutz movement in Israel. For many years, he and his wife Esther traveled to Jewish communities throughout the world with the United Jewish Appeal Rabbinic Cabinet and the World Union for Progressive Judaism to assess and address the needs of Jewish communities.

The Roses have lived in Sarasota since 2001 and have enjoyed being part of the Jewish Community and cultural scene. Rabbi Rose was an avid reader, tennis player, stamp and coin collector, and lifelong fan of the Chicago Cubs.

Rabbi Rose is survived by Esther, his wife of 58 years; his children, Judah (Lisa), Ben Zion, and Eve (Rod); and grandchildren, Maayan, Samuel, and Arava.

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