Rabbi James Diamond, the retired director of Princeton University’s Center for Jewish Life, has died in a traffic accident after leaving a breakfast Talmud study group.
Rabbi Diamond, 73, who retired from the center 10 years ago, was killed when a speeding car crashed into a parked car which the rabbi was entering on the passenger side. The driver of the parked car, Rabbi Robert Freedman, who also attended the study group, was hospitalized. He is expected to recover from his injuries.
Diamond was the director of the Center for Jewish Life from 1995 to 2003. He also served as executive director of the Hillel at Washington University in St, Louis from 1972 to 1995, and at Indiana University from 1968 to 1972.
He was ordained in 1963 by the Jewish Theological Seminary of America and later taught courses in modern Hebrew literature and Judaic Studies at Washington University, Princeton University, and in the Princeton community.
Diamond was born and raised in Winnipeg, Canada. He is survived by his wife of 52 years, Judy, three children and six grandchildren.
“If I’ve touched lives and given some people an idea that Judaism is broad and deep and a source of great meaning, and that being a Jew is a great gift, then I’ve succeeded,” Diamond said of his work with Jewish students in an interview with the New Jersey Jewish News after announcing his retirement in 2003.