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Jewish Philosopher Rabbi David Hartman Dies at 81

In 1971, Hartman and his wife Bobbi and their five children, made aliyah to Israel with plans to establish an institute for Jewish studies in Israel
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Rabbi David Hartman

Rabbi David Hartman
Photo Credit: Alan Abbey

Rabbi David Hartman, a Jewish philosopher who founded the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem died Sunday in Israel at the age of 81 following a long illness.

Born in New York, Hartman studied at Yeshiva Chaim Berlin and the Lubavitch Yeshiva. He also studied with Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik before receiving his rabbinical ordination from Yeshiva University in New York in 1953.

Hartman was the rabbi of Congregation Tiferet Beit David Jerusalem in Montreal. While serving the congregation, he also taught and studied at McGillUniversity, where he earned a PhD in philosophy

In 1971, Hartman and his wife Bobbi and their five children, made aliyah to Israel with plans  to establish an institute in Israel where Judaic studies scholars would address the critical contemporary challenges facing the Jewish people.  Five years later he founded the Shalom Hartman Institute, named for his father.

He was a professor of Jewish Thought at Hebrew University for more than 20 years, and Hartman he advised several Israeli prime ministers on the topic of Israel-Diaspora relations and religious pluralism.

His funeral will be held Monday at the Shalom Hartman Institute, according to the Institute’s website.

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