Rabbi Emeritus Barry Friedman, who served as spiritual leader of Temple B’nai Abraham from 1977-1999 passed away on Monday. He was 78 years old.
Rabbi Friedman had been involved with Temple B'nai Abraham since 1959. He joined the synogogue as Youth Director and teacher before his travels took him to Fairmount Temple, just outside of Cleveland, where he became an assistant Rabbi to Rabbi Arthur Lelyveld.
Friedman returned to Livingston in 1968 and rejoined the synogogue as an Associate Rabbi to Dr. Joachim Prinz. Friedman was promoted to Senior Rabbi in 1977 and then Rabbi Emeritus in 1999.
A Philadelphia native, Rabbi Friedman received his BA and BHL degrees at Yeshiva University. He studied at Machon L’Madrichai Chutz La’Aretz in Jerusalem and was ordained at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in New York. After ordination he pursued Doctoral Studies at Drew University, and St. Mary’s Ecumenical Institute in Baltimore.
As an undergraduate he was Executive Director of the New Jersey Zionist Youth Commission and Assistant to the Director of the Philadelphia region of the State of Israel Bonds. Rabbi Friedman wrote numerous highly regarded services commemorating holidays and historic events, and the Siddur Or Chadash—New Light prayer book.
Rabbi Friedman, in his tenure as Senior Rabbi of Temple B’nai Abraham, led his congregation in its commitment to Zionism, commitment to the highest ethical and aesthetic standards of Jewish liturgy and education, commitment to the well-being of the Jewish people as well as its commitment to the entire community. He helped the congregation retain its unique and independent identity. As its spiritual leader, he was a warm, compassionate and effective friend who cushioned the vicissitudes and heightened the joys of the congregation’s life cycle events.
He lived a life of active involvement in the cause for peace, social justice and human rights. As president of the Jewish Peace Fellowship, as Board member of the Citizens Council for Human Rights, as Chairperson of Clergy and Laymen Concerned About Vietnam and as a member of the Joint Chaplaincy Commission, Barry Friedman was a determined voice for understanding among all people, for “Tikkun Olam,” the universe, both in the inner community of Judaism as well as the world community
Rabbi Friedman is survived by his wife, Irene, and their three grown children, Aryeh, Adina and Aviva, and four grandchildren, Nevona, Nadav, Elza Ruti and Zev.
The funeral will be held on Thursday, October 11 at 11 a.m. at Temple B'nai Anbraham. Friedman will then be interred at Beth Israel Cemetery.