Herbert Baumgard

From Wikitia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Herbert Baumgard
Add a Photo
Born(1920-08-03)August 3, 1920
Norfolk, Virginia
DiedApril 15, 2016(2016-04-15) (aged 95)
Other namesRabbi Herbert Mark Baumgard
EducationDoctorate in Hebrew Letters
Alma mater
  • University of Virginia
  • Columbia Law School
  • Rabbi
  • Author
Known forFounding Rabbi of Temple Beth Am
Spouse(s)Selma Geller
  • Jonathan (son)
  • Daniel (son)
  • Shira (daughter)
  • Samuel (father)
  • Sarah (mother)
Add a Photo
CitizenshipUnited States of America

Rabbi Herbert Mark Baumgard (born August 3, 1920) was the founding Rabbi of Temple Beth Am and is regarded as one of the leading interpreters of Liberal Judaism.[1] Named in his honor after his passing are "The Rabbi Herbert Baumgard Learning Hub" in the Green Library at Florida International University[2] and "Rabbi Baumgard Road," which runs in front of the temple in which he founded.[3]

Early Life

Rabbi Baumgard was born in Norfolk, Virginia to Sarah and Samuel, who was a tailor. He graduated from the University of Virginia in 1941 where he was a member of Hillel and Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity. Next he attended Columbia Law School, where he was captain of the debate team.[4] It was during World War II, while serving as a chaplain's assistant, that Baumgard realized he wanted to become a rabbi.[5]


He was ordained at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in 1950 and earned his doctor's degree in Hebrew Letters in 1956. Baumgard began his rabbinical career at Temple B'nai Israel in Elmont, New York.

In 1955, he moved with his family down to Miami and was the founding rabbi of Temple Beth Am, located in Pinecrest, Florida. He served as the head rabbi there for over 30 years. Upon retiring in 1987, he had built it from 55 families meeting at a church to 1,700 families on a 14-acre campus that included a day school and a youth basketball league, becoming the largest Reform congregation in the Southeast.[6]

Specializing in the study of Hebrew prophets,[7] he is the author of several books, including The Miracles of Jesus and the Miracles of the Early Hebrew Prophets,[8] Loving What is Close, [9] Judaism and Prayer: Issues of Faith,[10] and Finding My Way to God.[11]


Rabbi Baumgard married Selma Geller on June 20, 1948 and they have two sons, Jonathan and Daniel, and a daughter, Shira.

Selma directed the Temple Beth Am choir for many years and some of her members went on to perform with the Metropolitan Opera.[12] They shared 63 years together before Selma's passing in 2012.

Rabbi Baumgard passed away on April 15, 2016, at the age of 95.


  1. "Founding Rabbi Emeritus Herbert Baumgard (1920–2016)". www.tbam.org. Retrieved 2020-05-09.
  2. "The Hub Has a New Name | FIU Libraries". libraries.fiu.edu. Retrieved 2020-05-09.
  3. "Village of Pinecrest approves ‘Rabbi Baumgard Road’". www.tbam.org. Retrieved 2020-05-09.
  4. "Herbert Baumgard Obituary".{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  5. "Baumgard, Herbert Mark 1920- | Encyclopedia.com". www.encyclopedia.com. Retrieved 2020-05-09.
  6. Ana, Veciana-Suarez. "Herbert Baumgard, founding rabbi of Temple Beth Am, dies at 95". Miami Herald.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  7. "Alumni In Memoriam - Newsletter". UVA McIntire School of Commerce. Retrieved 2020-05-09.
  8. https://www.amazon.com/Miracles-Jesus-Early-Hebrew-Prophets/dp/1602802742
  9. https://www.amazon.com/Loving-what-close-Herbert-Baumgard/dp/B0006XPQVE/ref=sr_1_2?dchild=1&qid=1589050092&refinements=p_27%3AHerbert+M+Baumgard&s=books&sr=1-2
  10. https://www.amazon.com/judaism-Prayer-Issues-Herbert-Baumgard/dp/B000MMD1NO
  11. https://www.amazon.com/Finding-Way-God-Herbert-Baumgard/dp/0881257818
  12. "Selma Baumgard Obituary - Miami, FL". Dignity Memorial. Retrieved 2020-05-09.

This article "Herbert Baumgard" is from Wikipedia. The list of its authors can be seen in its historical. Articles taken from Draft Namespace on Wikipedia could be accessed on Wikipedia's Draft Namespace.