Archive for February 17th, 2012

Barnett Brickner

Rabbi Barnett R. Brickner was the rabbi of Anshe Chesed Fairmount Temple, the oldest Jewish congregation in Cleveland, from 1925 until his death in 1958. Brickner was a prominent figure in not only in the Cleveland Jewish community, but in national and sometimes international affairs. During his tenure as the rabbi of Anshe Chesed, he increased its membership to the point that it became the largest Reform Judaism congregation in the world. He founded a Zionist organization called Young Judea, was a founder of the National Jewish Education Association, and was a labor arbiter in addition to a rabbi. He served as president of the Cleveland Bureau of Jewish Education and the Cleveland Zionist Association. During World War II, he served as the chairman of the committee that oversaw Jewish chaplains and toured the war front to report on the troops and chaplains for the president, duties for which he became the first rabbi to receive the Medal of Merit. At the age of 65, Rabbi Brickner died of injuries sustained in car accident in Spain. The epitaph in English reads “Thou hast made him little less than God, thou hast crowned him with glory and honor.”

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