- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 26, 2005

PIKESVILLE, Md. (AP) — Rabbi Herman N. Neuberger, leader of the Orthodox Ner Israel Rabbinical College for more than half a century, died Oct. 21 of cardiac arrest at his home at the Pikesville school. He was 87.

Mr. Neuberger helped fellow Jews escape the religious persecution of other nations and fostered dialogue between faiths.

He had been associated with Ner Israel since 1942 and helped it develop from a 50-student school to an institute with an enrollment of more than 800. The school is one of the nation’s most prominent Orthodox rabbinical colleges.

Many members of Baltimore’s Orthodox community escaped to the area, with Mr. Neuberger’s help, from countries that threatened Jews’ existence.

Mr. Neuberger traveled to Iran in 1976 and began bringing Iranians back to Ner Israel with the hope they would return home to share what they had learned. In 1979, after the Iranian revolution, Mr. Neuberger began helping Jews to emigrate from the country.

In the early 1980s, he pressured the U.S. State Department to recognize Iranian Jews as political refugees — a status that allowed them to enter the United States. The rabbi waived tuition and took in many as students.

“This man saved Iranian Jewry,” said Rabbi Leonard Oberstein, an official at the school.

Mr. Oberstein estimated that nearly 1,000 people were brought to the United States through Mr. Neuberger’s persistence and generosity during the 1970s and 1980s.

Mr. Neuberger was born in a small Bavarian town and came alone to the United States in 1938. On a trip to visit family in Baltimore, he stopped by the school and decided to stay.

Cardinal William H. Keeler, who serves as a liaison between the Roman Catholic Church and the Jewish community, said that shortly after he arrived in the city, Mr. Neuberger approached him.

“I found him to be a wonderful, generous collaborator in the efforts that we made together,” Cardinal Keeler said. “He was just a wonderful person in working on issues that we held in common.”

Mr. Neuberger’s survivors include his sons, Rabbi Sheftel Neuberger, Isaac Neuberger, Rabbi Shrago Neuberger, Yaakov Neuberger and Rabbi Ezra Neuberger, all of Baltimore. His wife, Judith Kramer, died in 1994.


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