JCRC Remembers Earl Raab
October 26, 2015
Posted by: JCRC Staff
This past Saturday, Earl Raab, JCRC Executive Director Emeritus and one of the American Jewish community's most widely recognized and respected leaders, passed away in Forest Knolls, California, at age 96. The community is invited to his funeral, which will be held on Tuesday, October 27, 2015, at 11:00am at Sinai Memorial Chapel, 1501 Divisadero Street (corner of Geary), San Francisco.
Earl came to San Francisco in 1950, when he was hired to serve first as Associate Director, and later as Executive Director, of the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC). Even before moving to San Francisco, Earl demonstrated, through an article on San Francisco Jewry that he wrote for Commentary Magazine, a wise mind and tremendous skill in writing. These were among the attributes that convinced our community's leadership to recruit and hire him more than sixty years ago.
Most significantly, Earl contributed to the JCRC its foundation principles, which have stood the test of time: It is imperative to convene the Jewish community and build strong consensus among its constituent organizations, strong democratic institutions are intrinsic to the safety and security of the Jewish community, Jewish values and American ideals are shared, interethnic and interfaith coalition building around common causes advances communal agendas, and the basic rights of Jews are synonymous with the basic rights of all groups.
Known nationally as the Dean of Community Relations, Earl inculcated in our San Francisco Bay Area Jewish community an early commitment to these ideals. Recognizing the need for a democratic instrument to convene the Jewish community and to discover its consensus views, Earl created important attitudinal studies, charged JCRC with convening a broad tent reflective of the diverse views within the Jewish community, and developed effective community relations and advocacy tools to ensure our community's interests.
Earl, who recognized the importance of having a strong, unified voice in Sacramento, was also a co-founder of the Jewish Public Affairs Committee of California (JPAC). In his honore, JPAC awards the "Earl Raab Award" annually to a community activist who best exemplifies Earl’s high standard of communal activism and advocacy for residents of our state.
(Read more about Earl Raab in JCRC Executive Director Doug Kahn's 90th birthday tribute, and in the SF Gate obituary.)
The family asks that donations in memory of Earl be made to the "Earl Raab Fund for Public Advocacy." Donations can be made to the fund online or by mail to JCRC, 121 Steuart Street, Suite 301, San Francisco, CA 94105.