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Rabbi David Teitelbaum

Rabbi David Teitelbaum

May 14th, 1926 - March 8th, 2021

Biography


Rabbi H. David Teitelbaum served as Congregation Beth Jacob’s rabbi for 38 years. Following his retirement, Rabbi Teitelbaum was the executive director of the Northern California Board of Rabbis. Rabbi Teitelbaum served as a chaplain during the Korean War, and was a renowned scholar and a strong advocate and activist in support of many causes, including Israel, Soviet Jewry, and civil rights.

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Family

About

Name Rabbi David Teitelbaum
Date of Birth May 14th, 1926
Date of Death March 8th, 2021
Home Town San Francisco, CA, US 
In Memoriam Donation CBJ Teitelbaum Family Education Fund

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Rafi Brinner published a tribute .

I leave this tribute on behalf of my father Ze'ev, for whom David's friendship was a lifelong blessing. Their lunches together into the last years of my father's life invigorated him. May Rabbi Teitelbaum's memory be for a blessing.

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Moshe Levin published a tribute .

Not long after I arrived in SF to serve part-time in a SF pulpit (Ner Tamid) having taken early retirement after a very serious cancer diagnosis, I was asked by the SF Police Dept to become their new Jewish Chaplain bc Rabbi David T was retiring. I had served as a chaplain for 2 years in southeast Asia during Vietnam and followed that as a volunteer Police Chaplain when I was discharged and took a pulpit in Los Angeles. !0 years later San Diego PD, and then in about 2002 or 03 here in SF. So they had my name.
I knew David from years of conventions for the RA and got to know him better through the Board of Rabbis of No Cal, and appreciated his calm demeanor and wise perspectives about all things Jewish, the rabbinate, interfaith activities and balancing all that with a commitment to justice and social action. So before accepting the appointment I went to visit him at his home in RC. He encouraged me to take it, promised it would not take too much time from my schedule. I was no longer showing signs of the disease so I told David I'm open to accepting the position as his replacement. He went to the closet and brought back two sets of his police uniform - they were my size. "Moshe," he said, you can have it all, even the hat and belt. But you can't have my star. I'm going to keep that as a reminder of having been a part of the establishment at least once in my life!"
I still have David's uniform (see in photo above worn for my swearing in ceremony by the late Jewish Assistant Chief Morryie Tabak), and I'm still active as a SFPD chaplain - in fact I've joined the faculty at the SF Police Academy, lecturing (non-Covid) weekly on Police Ethics & Minority Communities Relations to experienced officers and recruits. We were about the same size, but it turns out that, while its as fancy as the Police Chief's, with stripes on the cuffs etc., it never gets worn except at memorials like the one for 9/11. The Department sent me to their uniform supplier for my own, but I said I'd prefer to wear Rabbi Teitelbaum's - but I took the new shirt!
I got to know David better when he became the p/t director of the Board of Rabbis and kept the organization running. But wearing his uniform has always made me feel closer to him. Unfortunately, we never got to share experiences we each had as chaplains for the Police, but I'm sure he had many interesting stories as I did over the years. Zeher Shoter Livrakha!

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Barry Reich published a tribute .

Growing up at Beth Shalom in San Francisco where my father Israel Reich was cantor, I would hear my father's words of admiration and love for David. When I began my time as cantor at Peninsula Temple Sholom I was gifted with many years of working in the community with David which meant listening to and learning from him. I have attached a captured moment from 35 or more years ago with him presiding over our meeting When it came to menschlichkeit there was no greater practitioner or teacher. As a young Jewish professional he was an inspiration. His work for the human race in Korea, Selma, the Soviet Union and here in California was truly a Blessing and a true picture of his Neshamah. There is not enough space to tell all the things that I learned from him just hearing about his experiences. One story I overheard was from 1965, when he was sitting in a jail cell with Rabbi Gerald Raiskin, in Selma Alabama. The next day they would be marching with Dr, King. Someone who was in the cell with them asked about the hats they were wearing and they replied that the hat is called a yamulke. The next day there were many marchers wearing yamulkes but they called them Freedom Hats..... To Robin, Josh, Adam and family may all the memories of his goodness and zeesa neshama always be there for you. הַמָּקוֹם יְנַחֵם אֶתְכֶם בְּתוֹךְ שְׁאָר אֲבֵלֵי צִיּוֹן וִירוּשָׁלַיִם

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Dorothy And Paul Wachter published a tribute .

Dear Robin, Josh and Adam,
We want to express our deep sorrow over the loss of your beloved husband and father. In addition to being the pillar of your family, he
was also the pillar of our congregation for so many years. In 1965, when our young family arrived in California, we met with David and immediately felt we had found our Jewish home. We feel so fortunate to
have experienced him as our Rabbi and a spiritual role model for our family. We recall his powerful sermons, so eloquently expressing his deep commitment to social justice and human dignity. His personal qualities of modesty, integrity and human compassion served as a shining example for us and our children, Michael, David and Jennifer.
He will be sorely missed, but we are grateful to have had him in our lives, as our Rabbi and our friend.
May the love and respect of so many whose lives he graced provide comfort to your family in the grief of your loss, and may his memory be a blessing to us all.
Dorothy and Paul Wachter

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Barbara Powell published a tribute .

As the Emeritus, Rabbi Teitelbaum always had a smile for me and an encouraging word, as a budding Cantor. Among my favorite stories from his memoire is of the singing of Adon Olam to the tune of We Shall Overcome, when in jail in Selma. This reaching across perceived difference to bring people together exemplifies his moral leadership to me. May his memory be for a blessing.

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Rosa Whitten published a tribute .

In loving memory of Rabbi Teitelbaum.

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Ruth Donig White published a comment .

Although it's been decades since I have seen Rabbi Teitlebaum or his family , I have warm, loving memories of the years iI spent at TBJ. Rabbi Teitelebaum always reached out and was approachable. He officiated at my wedding 43 years ago. He was a wonderful teacher during Hebrew High School and I have fond memories of a sleepover as part of USY youth group. I always enjoyed interacting with Adam and Josh when we were teens, I being somewhat older. I loved Rabbi Teitlebaum's sermons. One always came away having learned something about menschlichkeit and how the lessons of Torah and Judaism connected to everyday life. Rabbi Teitlebaum was among the teachers who inspired me to continue to continue to learn and deepen my knowledge of Judaism throughout my life.

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Linda J Softley published a tribute .

I am so sorry to learn of the loss of Rabbi Teitelbaum. His deeply inspiring and noble legacy of Social Justice work, work against institutional racism and teaching lives on, and is obvious everywhere at CBJ - May his memory be for a blessing

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Sandra And Ed Epstein published a tribute .

Although we did not have the opportunity to know Rabbi David in his rabbinic role at CBJ, we came to know him as wonderfully warm and welcoming when we came into the community. He and Robin always
had the same seats as did we (whenever possible) and we always
looked over to our right after we were seated to check that they were
there. Invariably David had a warm smile or a small wave, letting us know in the sincerest way that we were welcome. In the last several
months and before the pandemic those two seats were empty and
along with it the special acknowledgement that David conveyed to us.
We will miss him on many levels but the empty seat will always
convey his warmth, his welcoming, and his message that we were part
of this special community.

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Daphne Geiringer Van Bemmelen published a comment .

I always admired Rabbi Teitelbaum and remember how kind, soft spoken and wise he was. I remember when he taught my Sunday school class ... I felt so privileged! Memories live on and the Teitelbaum family will always be dear to my heart. May Rabbi Rest In Peace and the family be comforted by memories and all who love them.....

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David Arfin published a tribute .

Rabbi Teitelbaum inspired me in countless ways. An extremely gifted orator and writer– his moving high holiday sermons and Israel Bond appeals touched my soul in my formative years. As a community activist for civil rights, human rights and interfaith relationships he exemplified what it means for a leader to “walk the walk” – and to humbly walk with his G-d. And Rabbi T was our family rabbi for over 4 decades – having officiated at my parents (Tacoma 1955) and my sister Mimi’s (z’’l) weddings (1993), at my father’s adult bar mitzvah, as well as at Mimi’s, Joey, and my b’nai mitzvot. And if that wasn’t enough he officiated at my brit milah (1961) and my older son’s Avi bris, some 31 years later.

His life was a blessing. Adam, Josh and Robin – may his memory be a blessing for you and your families for all your years.

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Joshua Kalev published a tribute .

It was Rabbi Teitelbaum who inspired me to pursue my dream of becoming a Rabbi. Growing up I was always in awe of his presence on the bimah, his knowledge, wisdom and kindness. I would sit in the congregation thinking to myself, "One day I hope to be like Rabbi Teitelbaum." I feel so honored to be mentioned in his autobiography as one of his students who went on to become a rabbi. His passion to better God's world is an inspiration for me each and every day. Zichrono livracha... his memory is truly a blessing.

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Jacqueline Teitelbaum published a tribute .

Dad to me and Zayde to my daughters, Rabbi Teitelbaum, and Robin, have been a loving and ever-present part of our lives. Unable to attend the funeral and shiva in person, the girls have been sharing stories and going through the family albums together. In an effort to console each other, they quote their grandfather: “The experience of grief is one of the prices we pay for love.”

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Rick Altman published a tribute .

Our family was fortunate to have had two distinct relationships with Rabbi Teitelbaum. First, as has been mentioned countless times here, he was an inspiration of Jewish learning. Then when he and my father were happily retired, they became tennis buddies and I was a substitute in those games often enough to have gotten to know his game: a fellow lefthander who could really cover court.

Afterward, when enjoying refreshments, he would offer a blessing of sorts. Having heard it so many times, I can still recite it verbatim, now some 25 years later:

"Did you know that tennis is a biblical sport? It is mentioned very prominently. As it was written, 'Moses served in Pharoah's court.'"

We would all laugh, as if we were hearing it for the first time, the Rabbi would smile warmly, and all was right with the universe.

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Stephanie Rosekind published a tribute .

I didn’t have the opportunity to know Rabbi Teitelbaum as I joined CBJ after he became rabbi emeritus. My Rabbi Raiskin was with Rabbi Teitelbaum in Selma, and I've shared that pride of my rabbi profoundly leading with courage. Not knowing us, Josh and Jacqueline welcomed my son Barry regularly into their home in Rananna when he was serving in the IDF, such an act of menschlekeit on their part, and tribute to who this family is. May Rabbi Teitelbaum's legacy and memory always be a blessing.

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Rodney Minott published a tribute .

For me, Rabbi Teitelbaum was a deeply influential figure. I have many wonderful memories of him. Too many to recount. He was truly an inspiring teacher and moral force in my life -- most especially during my formative years in high school. I greatly admired his courage, conviction, wisdom, and humor. He was a man who indeed sought to "do justice" in this world. He was also incredibly kind and thoughtful. May his memory be a blessing for all. He certainly blessed my life.

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Paula Schlesinger published a tribute .

Rabbi Teitelbaum was a central figure in my childhood as I attended services weekly [by myself]. I remember many of his sermons and always loved his gentle, kind nature. I am saddened by his passing, and hope that his memory remains a blessing for Robin, Josh, and Adam. He leaves a legacy of a model for living well as a Jew.

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Charles Aknin Singley published a tribute .

I remember the talk he gave when he returned from Selma even though. I was only 10. He officiated my wedding and had a major impact on the Aknin family through all the Bar Mitzvahs and other life events His memory will live on in the warmest parts of our hearts.

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Daniel Adelman published a tribute .

For many of us who grew up as members of CBJ (back then "TBJ"), Rabbi Teitelbaum z"l was for much of our lives, our ONLY rabbi. He was the one who helped us form our Jewish identity, who lived the ideals that we were taught, who officiated our b'nai mitzvot and our marriages, attended the naming of our children and eulogized our grandparents and parents. He will live with us forever and for that, we are eternally grateful and better human beings.

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Michael Battat published a tribute .

My parents, who grew up in San Francisco, knew Rabbi Teitelbaum z"l. Growing up in San Rafael, I didn't have any chances to meet him. I remember him having the reputation of intellect and compassion.

My mother related to me a story about Rabbi Teitelbaum that I didn't remember. In 1978 I joined the Marin-San Francisco-Peninsula confirmation class trip to Israel. Some time after our return, I and several of my fellow travelers spoke about our takeaways at a Shabbat evening service. Rabbi Teitelbam attended that evening. Afterward, he came up to my mother and told her how much he appreciated my words.

I feel fortunate to be connected with the congregation he led. I'm sorry that I did not get to know him in my adult life. May his memory be for love and a blessing. And may his kindnesses endure in the kindnesses shared by those who knew him.

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Cantor Barbara Powell published a tribute .

May his memory be for a blessing, z'l. His legacy of compassion, teaching, and pursuit of justice will continue to inspire our generation and those to come.

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Robert Helwing published a tribute .

I'd like to share a few memories i have of Rabbi Teitelbaum's impact on my life. One of these was when my stepfather, Sander Benowitz, was stricken with a severe illness and undergoing treatment at Stanford Hospital. Rabbi Teitelbaum showed up to offer my family, which included my mother, Toni, and brother, Arne, spiritual and moral support. He profoundly conveyed such caring and compassion, giving us also a clear sense of his love and concern for our family that was beyond words – it touched our souls and gave us great comfort.

Another one of my most distinct memories of Rabbi Teitelbaum were the many sermons he gave where I would fall into a torpor from sitting too comfortably in the padded seats in the sanctuary and I would close my eyes but fight the urge to sleep –– I would still intently listen to his words and glean the message they entailed and they would flow into my consciousness and help me to become a better Jew and a better human being. He left an indelible mark on me and I will treasure his memory as a blessing in my life.

I further cherish the memories of all the good and beautiful things Rabbi Teitelbaum and Robin did for the entire CBJ Family throughout all the years that he served as our Rabbi and later Rabbi Emeritus; both he and Robin have left us with an enduring legacy that continues on into the future in our congregation. Rabbi Teitelbaum, as we say in our tradition, was truly a "mensch;" nothing more need be added.

Dear Robin, Adam, and Joshua, and by extension to the rest of the Teitelbaum family –– may you gain comfort from all the love and respect emanating from the entire CBJ Family with our sincere expressions of gratitude for all that Rabbi Teitelbaum, and you Robin, did for us. Please accept our deepest condolences for your loss.

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Jay Marder published a tribute .

What a sweet, kind but strong guy Rabbi was! Dedicated to civil rights and community. He was the epitome of a wonderful age of Conservative Judaism in America. Robin, I’ll always appreciate your introduction to your Jerusalem friends in Israel in 1974. I went back several times, once 16 years ago to my grandson’s bris in Ramat Eshkol.

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Aaron Roland published a tribute .

Rabbi Teitelbaum was a central touchstone in my development as a Jew and as a person. I loved him and respected him. My memories of him blur together as I spent so much time in his presence. What I most remember and his sermons, not just the big ones, but the regular Shabbat ones where he would always integrate Torah and Talmudic teachings with a perspective on issues in the country and the world. I remember my fear and pride when I learned he had been arrested in Selma. I remember reading Mordechai Kaplan for the first time and being struck that this was what I had already learned from my rabbi. And of course, I remember hamishe seders at his home which covered the whole haggadah and yet were fully engaging and, for some reason, ended with us kids arm wrestling on the living room floor. He will be missed and always remembered.

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Joe Gruber published a tribute .

It was always exciting to hear Rabbi Teitelbaum give his sermons
during High Holidays.
It was also a pleasure to sit next to Rabbi as President.
We always had interesting talks. His love of Israel was evident.

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Lee Zulman published a tribute .

Rabbi Teitelbaum was a reason we joined CBJ. His love of Israel, often highlighting Israel in his sermons and the fact that he walked the walk... he marched with Martin Luther King, were deciding factors. He pursued justice wholeheartedly. Our kids all were bat mitzvahed, at CBJ and the clergy officiated at all their weddings, one of which was held at the synagogue. The trio, Rabbi Teitelbaum, Cantor Hans Cohn, and Ruth Shapiro, ensured a superior Jewish education for our children.

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Douglas Wolf published a tribute .

Dear Robin, Josh, Adam and family,

I was saddened to learn of the passing of one of the most influential persons in my life. Rabbi Teitelbaum contributed heavily to the person who I became, the values that I hold dear, and the love that I have for Judaism. As a child attending Temple Beth Jacob, I looked forward to the sermons of Rabbi Teitelbaum, the teachings that he would share I still have incredible memories of my confirmation class, a class that was made up of extraordinary and unique students, who were allowed by our Rabbi to walk into the sanctuary while "the Times they are a changing" was playing as our processional march. It was Rabbi Teitelbaum who allowed our class to think independently and allowed people like myself and Rick Dorin to write new musical melodies for the Borchu and the Shema. We were challenged to be individuals, to think and to act. Rabbi Teitelbaum taught me that we need to stand up for our beliefs and to act upon them. There is a story that Rabbi shared in a sermon that I still repeat so many years later. It was the story of two old men who would buy a newspaper. [Goes to show how many years ago] One of the men was treated kindly and the other rudely. One day, the man who was treated kindly asked the other why he continued to buy a newspaper here when he was treated so rudely. He responded, "What, I should let him tell me how I should lead my life". This story has stayed with me my entire life and I share it with many of my clients. It is said that we don't know what we have lost until we lost it. I am feeling that today. Although I moved away from Temple Beth Jacob years ago, my parents, Phyllis and Stan Wolf (of blessed memory) remained affiliated. Temple Beth Jacob will always be a part of me and Rabbi Teitelbaum will always be someone who helped mold me in my values, my thinking and my love for Judaism, helping me to understand what Judaism could mean to me. My condolences go out to all of you.

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Becki Cohn-Vargas published a tribute .

On behalf of the family of Cantor Hans Cohn, I want to express condolences for Rabbi Teitlebaum's passing. Our father and the Rabbi worked together so well for so many years, born in the same year, they died a year apart. We are grateful to have know My sisters and I had our Bat Mitzvahs with him. He will be missed. I am sharing a photo that I took of Rabbi Teitlebaum along with other Rabbis in Selma that appeared in “Shared Legacies: The African-American Jewish Civil Rights Alliance” is a 2020-released documentary. Forgive the photo that I took quickly while the film was running. I was so proud and the Rabbi looks so young!

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Fran And Gary Aron published a tribute .

Rabbi Teitlebaum was a great teacher. He officiated at the Bar Mitzvah of our two sons, Jonathan and David. Fran, in particular, was guided by his ethical will. When she shared this with him he responded, "Be a Mensch." Gary was guided by the many teachings from the pulpit, in particular, the teaching that it wasn't so much what happened to us that mattered, but, rather, how we responded to what happened to us. May his memory be a blessing.

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Michael (Meir) Leifman published a tribute .

Robin, Josh, Adam and family,
"Davey," as my father, Morty, z'l, liked to call him, was an important presence in my family's life despite the 2,500 miles distance and the only occasional visit. Their friendship and bond was deep and strong; my dad spoke of him often, with admiration and love. I remember hearing my dad talk to David on the phone and hang up smiling; I remember stories of their Rabbinical school days together, and stories sharing family simchas and traumas. I never had the privilege of seeing him rabbinate, only the special view of watching him be a close, true and lifelong friend. יהי זיכרו ברוך
On behalf of the Leifman family to the Teitelbaum family,
הַמָּקוֹם יְנַחֵם אֶתְכֶם בְּתוֹךְ שְׁאָר אֲבֵלֵי צִיּוֹן וִירוּשָׁלַיִם

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Rabbi David Bockman published a tribute .

I was born in Redwood City and my family moved away when I was 10, but it is just amazing to hear all the names from my childhood! I had seen Rabbi and Robin over the years at the Rabbinical Assembly conventions. Our family and theirs had been very close when we lived there, and we'd drive to Atherton past the railroad tracks and the Red Rabbi restaurant (the "t" had burned out on the sign), and we knew we were just about there! I miss playing with Adam and Josh, me and my brother Bruce. We used to sneak into Rabbi Teitelbaum's office sometimes during services... I'll stop there! In many ways, he was a symbol to me of the way Judaism continued on and on, and how great it was to be a part of. Having been a pulpit rabbi now for 33 years, I can certainly say that I have not (nor will I ever) have the impact of David Teitelbaum - but I was proud to be a ben bayit of his, proud to be a kid in his Hebrew School, proud to have gone on to continue spreading Torah that was inspired by the same motivations that moved him. My parents - Dan and Idell Bockman - are gone already for quite a while, but I am comforted that communities (and the rabbinical families that sustain and maintain them) can continue on beyond any individual. Tehi Nishmato Tzrura Bitzror ha-Chayim. May his soul be bound up in the bond of life. Never again will any rabbi make me feel like such a child again at a rabbinical convention (that was both embarrassing and wonderfully freeing!). I will miss you, Rabbi.

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Frank Kushin published a tribute .

Rabbi Teitelbaum was a very special person. He was eloquent and inspiring. We were fortunate to have him marry us and share his wisdom
for having a good marriage. We greatly admired his passion for social justice.
Frank and Ellen Kushin

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Laura Bahbout published a tribute .

To Robin, Josh, Adam and family, my sincerest condolences. May the memory of Rabbi Teitelbaum be a blessing.

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Barbara Keller published a tribute .

The Keller family shares our heartfelt condolences to Robin, Josh, Adam and all the family. When we moved to Redwood City and joined Beth Jacob Rabbi and Robin welcomed us to the shul and the community with an abundance of warmth. Which meant so much to us. May Rabbi’s memory be for a blessing. Barbara

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Emily Greenwald published a tribute .

I am so sorry for the loss of Rabbi Teitelbaum. I only knew him through the stories of others, but find his antiracism work, his march in Selma, and his fights for justice in the Soviet Union and other places around the world inspiring. I am proud to say that such an influential rabbi at my synagogue engaged in the noble work of Rabbi Teitelbaum and look forward to reading his autobiography. Sending lots of love to the Teitelbaum family.

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Robert Levinson published a tribute .

I am deeply saddened as I just learned of the death of one of my heroes and a dear friend Rabbi H. David Teitelbaum, the father of my friends Adam and Josh. Rabbi Teitelbaum was part of my life before I was even part of my life. He married my parents officiated at my bris, my Bar Mitzvah and my wedding and so many others who I grew up with. My earliest memory of him is probably the Yom Kippur War in 1973 when I sat in his office with Adam and Josh listening to the dire radio reports and running notes into him on the pulpit so he could keep the congregation up to date and I still remember the redness in his face and the quivering in his voice because at that moment Israel's survival was very much in question. To me he represented probably the quintessential proud American Jew and Jewish American. He served his country in the Army during the Korean War. He marched with Dr. King at Selma and got arrested. He would tell the story of his journey to Selma every January and my father would relay how when they went to the airport to see him and the other Rabbis from the Bay Area off, some African American soldiers in the airport joined in praying with the congregation, not understanding the Hebrew but standing at attention out of respect for where they were headed. He got arrested more than once I think chaining himself to the fence of the Soviet Consulate in San Francisco demanding the release of Soviet Refuseniks who wanted to emigrate to freedom. He was a guest at the White House and was mentioned by President Obama in a speech on civil rights. He was an inspiration and an influence on me in so many ways both for my military service and other stances I have taken. When Carmen and I went to Charlottesville it was his example of marching at Selma, praying with his feet, that was foremost in our minds. I cannot imagine the wonderful community of my youth, Temple Beth Jacob in Redwood City, California without him being there. Our prayers are with his wife Robyn, Josh, Adam, and all his grandchildren and great grandchildren. There is a Jewish legend that the the fate of the word rests on the shoulders of 36 righteous individuals, the so-called Lamed Vavniks, Lamed Vav being the letters of the Hebrew Alphabet that represent the number 36. Their identities remain a secret even to them. I have little doubt that if these people do exist, that he was counted among them. When he spoke at my grandfather's funeral he said "A mighty oak has fallen and there is a space against the sky." This is how we feel right now. If ever someone's memory will be for the greatest of blessing, his will be.

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Kevin Scheier published a tribute .

So many great memories. I still remember Rabbi and Robin coming to my parents house after we moved to CA when I was a young boy in 1964. He was at my Bar Mitzvah, my confirmation, wedding and many other life cycle events for me and my family. He was someone I looked up to and was always there as a pillar in the community. I am blessed to have grown up at CBJ.

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Steve Lipman published a tribute .

Josh, Adam and Rabbi Nat, I was taken by your lovely words this afternoon in memory of Rabbi Teitelbaum. A true giant in our community. His holy work for racial justice and on behalf of Soviet Jews is a beautiful legacy. His work in nurturing CBJ for 38 years was amazing. I admire him and his life's works so much and my deepest sympathies to your entire family.

הַמָּקוֹם יְנַחֵם אֶתְכֶם בְּתוֹךְ שְׁאָר אֲבֵלֵי צִיּוֹן וִירוּשָׁלַיִם

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George Schlesinger published a tribute .

I first met David Teitelbaum when I was asked to teach at Beth Jacob by Cantor Hans Cohn. I was a student at Stanford in 1968 and Josh was one of my first students. I was petrified. The rabbi's son was in my class and I didn't have a clue what I was doing. David assured me that I was doing just fine. His comfort and his guidance helped lead me on the path of my life: the rabbinate. He was, indeed, a rabbi's rabbi…a teacher and mentor. And it was at Beth Jacob that I met my future wife who was a teacher's aide across the hallway. I owe much of my life to Beth Jacob and Rabbi Teitelbaum. May his memory be a blessing to all who knew him.

Rabbi George Schlesinger

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Caryn And Mark Siegel published a tribute .

To Robin, Josh, Adam and family, we are very sad to learn of Rabbi's passing. Each member of our congregation has their own story to tell of Rabbi's kindness. For us, it was when he visited me in the hospital after the shocking birth of our seriously disabled son. He spoke to me with such thoughtfulness reminding me that no G-d would choose this tragedy to happen. Instead, he reminded us that G-d gives us the strength to get through difficult times. His words of wisdom and comfort have stayed with us all these years. May you find comfort in your fond memories of this wonderful man. - Caryn and Mark Siegel

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Drs Ivy And Jeff Weiner published a tribute .

To Robin, Josh, Adam and family, our family was saddened by David's passing, knowing his presence with all of us was such a blessing. We always learned something special when he shared and presented.
He was such a terrific person, intelligent and thoughtful and a role model of a mentor, social activist and Jewish ethics and friend.
It was an honor to follow Adam and his family in Pediatrics, now the kids so grown. We will hold on dearly to the great memories we have of David. May he be a blessing to you and your family~ The Weiner
Ivy, Jeff, Emily, Seth and Abby

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Steve Lipman published a tribute .

Josh, Adam your families and the CBJ family, may your father's memory be for a blessing.

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Richard Beres published a comment .

Baruch dayan haemet. May his memory be for blessings

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Marsha Lee Berkman published a tribute .

Dear Robin, Josh and Adam,
Norman and I are profoundly saddened to learn of David's death. He was an important part of our lives as our rabbi and our close friend. It is difficult to conceive of a world without his presence. We shared so many wonderful moments together, and in times of sadness, he always knew exactly the right words that would console us. His moral and ethical compass, his courage, his exceptional intelligence and wisdom, his kindness, and the extraordinary vision he brought to the world, influenced and enriched our lives immeasurably.
Our love to you and to the entire Teitelbaum family.
Marsha Lee and Norman Berkman

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Mitch Reitman published a comment .

Dear Robin, Josh, Adam and family:

It was with great sadness that Lisa and I learned of David’s death. I will always remember him fondly as a strong support, mentor and friend during my tenure at Beth Jacob. I had great respect for his leadership, knowledge and humanity. Wishing you much comfort and love from community during this difficult time. Fondly, Mitch and Lisa Reitman

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Marilyn Wacks published a tribute .

I am very sorry to hear of Rabbi Tetelbaum's passing. I am told that he had a large role in comforting my grandmother, Lena Wacks, after the death of my grandfather. May his memory be a blessing.

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Robert M. Levinson published a tribute .

I am deeply saddened as I just learned of the death of one of my heroes and a dear friend Rabbi H. David Teitelbaum, the father of my friends Adam and Josh. Rabbi Teitelbaum was part of my life before I was even part of my life. He married my parents officiated at my bris, my Bar Mitzvah and my wedding and so many others who I grew up with. My earliest memory of him is probably the Yom Kippur War in 1973 when I sat in his office with Adam and Josh listening to the dire radio reports and running notes into him on the pulpit so he could keep the congregation up to date and I still remember the redness in his face and the quivering in his voice because at that moment Israel's survival was very much in question. To me he represented probably the quintessential proud American Jew and Jewish American. He served his country in the Army during the Korean War. He marched with Dr. King at Selma and got arrested. He would tell the story of his journey to Selma every January and my father would relay how when they went to the airport to see him and the other Rabbis from the Bay Area off, some African American soldiers in the airport joined in praying with the congregation, not understanding the Hebrew but standing at attention out of respect for where they were headed. He got arrested more than once I think chaining himself to the fence of the Soviet Consulate in San Francisco demanding the release of Soviet Refuseniks who wanted to emigrate to freedom. He was a guest at the White House and was mentioned by President Obama in a speech on civil rights. He was an inspiration and an influence on me in so many ways both for my military service and other stances I have taken. When Carmen and I went to Charlottesville it was his example of marching at Selma, praying with his feet, that was foremost in our minds. I cannot imagine the wonderful community of my youth, Temple Beth Jacob in Redwood City, California without him being there. Our prayers are with his wife Robyn, Josh, Adam, and all his grandchildren and great grandchildren. There is a Jewish legend that the the fate of the word rests on the shoulders of 36 righteous individuals, the so-called Lamed Vavniks, Lamed Vav being the letters of the Hebrew Alphabet that represent the number 36. Their identities remain a secret even to them. I have little doubt that if these people do exist, that he was counted among them. When he spoke at my grandfather's funeral he said "A mighty oak has fallen and there is a space against the sky." This is how we feel right now. If ever someone's memory will be for the greatest of blessing, his will be.

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Diane J. Levinson published a comment .

My son, Rob, said it all. For me, knowing Rabbi Teitelbaum since the age of 17 means that a deep void has occurred. When I think of the word "Rabbi" he is the personification for me. He officiated in so many life cycle events for me and my family. There really are no words to convey what he meant to me in the varied situations where his wisdom bore such truths, empathy and love.

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Beth Berlin Fishback published a tribute .

He will always be "The Rabbi" to me and my family. We will remember his kindness, his intelligence, his sense of humor, and so much more. Robin, Josh, Adam and families, thank you for sharing him with all of us for so long. Hamakom y'nachem etchem b'toch sh'ar availai tziyon ee yerushalayim. May his memory be as a blessing to you always.

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Stuart Soffer published a comment .

My father and I went to a baseball with him and the congregation many many years ago... before we joined CBJ.

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Paula Kushlan published a tribute .

Rabbi Teitelbaum saved me after my son Ira died.
Robin, Thinking of you and how hard this must be. Paula

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