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Journal Update
Total Entries: 232
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  • Jun 9, 2010 10:49am

    Some of you have been asking to see the photo of the extraordinary rainbow over Dallas that appeared on the day David died. Please go to the "Photos" section of this website (click on the tool bar at the top of the page) to see it.

    Michael Schwartz

  • Jun 5, 2010 1:04am

    I rarely go to services, but I went tonight, and here in Olympia WA. Rabbi Seth Goldstien, just happened in passing to mention the human rights work of a Rabbi David Forman. I asked Rabbi Goldstein afterwards if the Rabbi Forman he was referring to had gone to HUC in Cincy. Indeed he had. Well, some 40 years or so ago David had been my religious school teacher at Rockdale Temple in Cincy. He was really the only teacher that ever helped wipe the dust away from and crack open my Jewish heart, with his humor and genuine presence. I remember him taking us on a field trip - horseback riding. Jews on horses -who'd a thought?! Anyway, I never heard about him again until tonight. Of course I was saddened to hear of his passing, but amazed that somehow he kept his internal light burning all these decades, speaking his mind, working for human rights - staying to the left and true to his beliefs. And then to scroll through and read some of these tributes. Incredible. One person touching so many lives in such a positive way - some, perhaps like myself, who still bob on the waves he left in his wake, though perhaps decades after encountering him. Condolonces to his family and friends. May his work be continued!  PS - David, I am a teacher now, I will try to ride high in the saddle in your memory!

    Robert Lovitt
    Olympia, WA

  • May 18, 2010 9:23pm

    Dear Judy and family,

    I knew David only from the camp UCI days and the memories are both vivid and warm.  I fell in love with his renditions of various songs, most popular, the "V'Shamru," which he created when at camp UCI where you both met.  Those songs, his passion when singing and playing them, struck a resonant cord in my heart, that remains there to this day.  I also have a clear memory of David directing me in a camp play.  He made fun of me every time I sneezed, remarking that he had never heard anyone ever sneeze "achoo," stating that "they write it that way, you aren't supposed to do it that way!"    Of course, all said in love and good humor.  I am so very sorry for your loss.  I hope that in time, your memories will comfort you and bring a smile to your face.  I know my memories of him and you too, Judy, bring a smile to my face.   I loved reading all about his life and how far and wide his reach was.  He was loved by so very many people and will be deeply missed.  My love and deepest sympathy to  you.  Maureen (Ian's sister)

    Maureen Silver

  • May 17, 2010 3:50pm

    Dear Judy and Family

    As his life was a blessing so may his memory be and bring blessing. May you find a Makom of comfort.

    Sylvin Wolf
    Naples, FL

  • May 17, 2010 1:33pm

    I knew David for many years & because of my frequent trips to Israel saw him a lot.  Recently, I had lunch with him in Toronto.  Tamar, you and your father were very helpful to my daughter, Samantha, when we were on sabbatical in Israel in 1990 & she was going to your high school.
    I was very fond of David and respected him greatly for his important devotion to human rights & his important acievements.  He spoke many times at my congregation in Toronto before I retired.  He is a great loss, not only to his family who loved him, but also to the Reform Movement & the struggle for human rights and dignity.
    Hamakom y'nachem etchem b'toch sh'ar aveilei tzion v'yerushalayim.

    Michael Stroh
    Toronto, ON

  • May 17, 2010 2:39am

    I have just learned of passing of Rabbi David Foreman, and I would like to express my heartfelt condolences to Rabbi Foreman's family members and my friends of Rabbis for Human Rights.

    I have been an admirer of the Rabbis for Human Rights since I learned about your endeavor for justice and human rights at the occasion of Niwano Peace Prize ceremony in 2005, when you were the 23rd recipient of the prize. As the founder of RHR, Rabbi Foreman's spirit of universal humanity and his deep concern on justice and peace greatly influenced our members of Buddhist community. He will therefore always be remembered in our prayer.

    Representing Niwano Peace Foundation, I send you our deepest  sympathy.

    Sincerely yours,

    Kinjiro Niwano
    Niwano Peace Foundation

    Kinjiro Niwano

  • May 17, 2010 2:37am

    משפחת פורמן היקרה, אריק היקר, חברי ועד יקרים

    בצער רב שמענו על פטירתו בטרם עת של מייסד שומרי משפט, הרב דויד פורמן.

    במשך השנים הארוכות מאז פעל להקמת ארגונכם, למדנו – אנשי הצוות בקרן ובשתי"ל - להכירו ולהוקיר את מחוייבותו העמוקה לערכי הדמוקרטיה והשמירה על זכויות האדם, מחוייבות אותה ביסס על תפיסה מעמיקה ומרשימה של ערכי המוסר היהודי.   אישיותו החמה ומסירותו הפכו אותו לאחת הדמויות המובילות בניסוח קול יהודי חדש – קול המציג את הדאגה לזולת ואת המחוייבות ל'אחר' כביטוי עמוק של היהדות, ולא כמעשה המנוגד לה. בימים אלו, בהם גוברים הקולות המנסים להציג את המאבק על קידום ערכים אלו כמעשה בגידה אנטי יהודי או אנטי ציוני, חשיבותם של מעשיו ופועלו בולטת במיוחד.

    אנו משתתפים בצערכם - צערנו, ומקוים כי המשך פועלה של העמותה שלכם, שאותה יסד הרב פורמן לפני שנים כה רבות, יהווה נחמת מה, שכן היא מבטיחה כי דרכו תמשך והמאבק על ישראל טובה יותר לא יעצר.

    מי יתן ולא תדעו עוד צער


    רחל ליאל                                                                                  קרלוס שטיגליץ

    מנכ"לית הקרן החדשה לישראל                                                  סמנכ"ל שתי"ל

    The New Israel Fund The New Israel Fund

  • May 17, 2010 2:35am

    הצוות,ההנהלה והחברים של רבנים שומרי משפט,רבנים לזכויות אדם,
    בצער עמוק נודע לי על פטירתו ללא עת של הרב דוד פורמן,מייסד העמותה.
    אזכור את פועלו רבת השנים,ללא ליאות ואת המסר המוסרי של כיבוד כל אדם באשר הוא.
    את זכרו אכבד במחויבות להמשך דרכו.
    חנה פרידמן.

    Hannah Friedman

  • May 17, 2010 2:33am

    You can read another series of reflections about David on the website of RHR-NA: http://www.rhr-na.org/in-news/in-memoriam-rabbi-david-forman

    Michael Schwartz

  • May 17, 2010 2:06am

    By Rabbi Jeremy Milgrom (English)

    There's hardly a more applicable haftarah (prophetic reading) for a human rights movement than this week's reading, Hosea 2:1-22, which ends with God's promise to renew the covenant with Israel thus:


    I will betroth you to me forever

    I will betroth you to me with justice and righteousness, with love and mercy

    I will betroth you to me with faithfulness, and you will know the Lord (2:21-22)


    These words are especially appropriate as a tribute to Rabbi David Forman, RHR's founder, who passed away last week, as they are a statement of the basic unity of conscientious action, human decency and the quest for God in which he so strongly believed.

    David never shied away from controversy, leading RHR as it took Judaism to the barricades – and bringing the barricades into the Beit Midrash (halls of study). This courageous path, a fulfillment of another passage from this haftarah: “Rebuke your mother (who has erred), rebuke her (2:4)”, is often (perhaps usually) a thankless task, but it is part and parcel of the prophetic mission which RHR strives to fulfill. 

    It is always tempting to yield to the embrace of the establishment, to serve the false gods of power, money and prestige. RHR will preserve David's legacy by becoming fearlessly and uncompromisingly devoted to human rights and not national claims, living on the fringes on bread and water until the human family worships God with one accord (Zephaniah 3:9)  


    Michael Schwartz

  • May 17, 2010 2:02am

    Michael Schwartz

  • May 16, 2010 3:41am

    Dear Michael and Tamar,

    I was shocked hear this sad news and although there are no words that are in my mind appropriate, I send my condolences to you and your family.

    I did not really know your father, as I met and spoke to him only a few times. There was one conversation with him that I remember very well.  

    When I was a mechanechet for NFTY, one of the chanichim got hurt (I went to the hospital) and your father came to Hadassah at a very late hour (the middle of the night), to visit and make sure everything was alright. He was of course concerned about the chanich, but what struck me was his concern for me. He was worried that I wouldn't get enough sleep and thanked me for being there. I was very touched.

    Many of my colleagues in the Reform Movement worked with him and I have heard such wonderful things. I am glad to have the honor of meeting him.

    May His Memory Be For A Blessing,

    Debbie Pulik

    Debbie Pulik

  • May 15, 2010 7:59pm

    In Memoriam: Rav David Forman (z"l)


    Outside my window, 

    Thousands of winged seeds 

    Flutter like swarms of pale yellow butterflies 

    In the spicy spring wind. 


    They cascade in golden showers, 

    Moving swiftly, sailing and swooping 

    All around the courtyard,
    Like pale yellow embers 

    Sparking from a giant hearth.


    Like this swirling shower of tiny living seeds,

    David's acts of kindness, compassion, and caring

    His wisdom and wit and warmth,

    Fill the very air we breathe. 


    His life will continue to change our world,

    As one seed at a time takes root and flowers,

    Witness to his moral and spiritual legacy, 

    Planted deep in so many hearts and minds.

    Cousin Ruthi 

    Ruthi Lambert
    New London, CT

  • May 14, 2010 1:30pm

    Dr. Hugo E. Jasin

  • May 14, 2010 2:24am

    Dear Friends,
    I was very sad to hear that David passed away. It seems so strange to me, I see him as so vibrant and energetic and even youthful, not as someone whose life could be over!
    First of all, I want to send my love and hugs to Judy and all the girls, who were all an important part of my childhood. 
    I never met the husbands and grandchildren, but I am very sorry for your loss, and feel badly that the little ones lost their grandfather, who was such a great person! I am sure that wonderful stories and memories will be passed on, and that he will be part of their lives and values, even if he isn't here physically.
    When I think of David, I think of how impressive he looked, tall, with a lovely beard and wonderful smile and laugh, and expressive eyes that looked at you with interest and care. He always seemed younger than he was, with a silly sense of humor, and very strong beliefs and ideals, like a teenager and not like an older man. He was always very kind and considerate to me, and had great hugs and laughter. He was a really good person! And I know how much his friendship meant to my father.
    I remember very fondly the few weeks that I stayed at the Forman home when I was in my late teens. I had some serious back problems and my parents were in Oxford on Sabbatical, so the Formans opened their home to me. I had to rest in bed, and the whole family helped me feel at home, brought me books to read, told jokes and stories, and helped with whatever I needed. Shabbat was especially wonderful, and we had some great conversations. David used to "blame me" for Tamar becoming a vegetarian, I guess my explanations of why I didn't eat meat had quite an effect... David, Judy and the girls all made me feel like part of the family, and I have always felt so appreciative of that time in their home.
    May he rest in peace, and I hope you can find comfort in the lovely extended family you have created over the years, and in the beautiful memories of David that you have, or that other people share with you. 
    With much love,
    Rachel Alany (Skirball)

    Rachel Alany (Skirball)

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