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inFOCUS Quarterly

Spring 2016

Israel - Beyond the Headlines


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Joshua O. Haberman - Biography


Rabbi Emeritus of the Washington Hebrew Congregation, he is founder and Chairman of the Board of the Foundation for Jewish Studies which provides diversified and popular adult Jewish learning programs in Washington, Maryland and Northern Virginia in cooperation with some 70 Reform, Conservative and Orthodox congregations. He also serves as President of NAORRR (National Association of Retired Reform Rabbis) with a membership of some 400 rabbis and spouses.

Rabbi Haberman is one of 10 rabbis in his family 6 Reform, 2 Orthodox and 2 Conservative. His son, Daniel, is an Orthodox rabbi in Jerusalem, a scholar translating classic Hebrew texts.

Rabbi Haberman and his wife, Maxine, as well as 3 of their 4 children, made aliyah some years ago and hold Israeli citizenship. They maintain a second home in Jerusalem. Ten of their 13 grandchildren live in Israel.

Rabbi Haberman was born in Vienna, Austria, where he began his rabbinical studies one year before Hitler invaded Austria. He completed his preparation for the rabbinate at the Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati where he also earned his doctorate in modern Jewish philosophy.

After serving congregations in Mobile, Alabama, Buffalo, New York and Trenton, New Jersey, he was elected Senior Rabbi of the Washington Hebrew Congregation in 1969. Throughout the years he also taught as adjunct professor at Rutgers, American, George Washington and Georgetown Universities, The Washington Theological Union and the Wesley Theological Seminary.

Since his retirement in 1986 he has devoted himself entirely to scholarship, writing and teaching. He published three books, Philosophy of Revelation: The Life and Thought of Solomon Ludwig Steinheim; The God I Believe in: Conversations on Religion with 14 Leading Jewish Intellectuals; Healing Psalms: The Dialogues with God that Help You Cope with Life.