Temple Times Online Edition
    MAY 26 , 2005
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In Memoriam: Murray Friedman


Murray Friedman, founding director of the Myer and Rosaline Feinstein Center for American Jewish History at Temple and a Temple University Press author, died May 18. He was 78.

Friedman founded the Feinstein Center for American Jewish History in 1990, in cooperation with the Philadelphia Chapter of the American Jewish Committee.

An academic unit of the history department, the center’s mission is to encourage and nurture scholars to research in and teach about the Jewish experience in America.

Friedman was editor of Philadelphia Jewish Life 1940–2000 and author of Commentary in American Life, both published by Temple University Press.

He also was director of the Mid-Atlantic chapter of the American Jewish Committee until 2002, and was vice chairman of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, appointed by President Ronald Reagan, from 1986 to 1989.

In addition to his scholarly work, Friedman established early in his career the Executive Suite program to broaden the involvement of Jews in the management of industry and financial institutions in the Delaware Valley.

He also began Operation Understanding, which involves African Americans and Jewish high school students in programs of mutual understanding.

In 2000, Temple established the Murray Friedman Professorship in American Jewish History in recognition of his work at Temple and in the Philadelphia area for more than four decades.

Friedman is survived by his wife, Marsha; five children and stepchildren; and nine grandchildren.