Rabbi Perry Nussbaum Dies; Activist in South During 1960s Racial Unrest


Rabbi Perry E. Nussbaum, believed the first white clergyman to have his house of worship bombed during the racial strife of the 1960s, has died in San Diego of cancer. Nussbaum, who headed the Beth Israel congregation in Jackson, Miss., for many years, had moved to the San Diego area in 1973, becoming the auxiliary Jewish chaplain at the Balboa Naval Hospital.

He was 79 when he died there March 30.

In Mississippi, after the 1967 bombing of his synagogue and residence, he became chaplain to the jailed Freedom Riders who had gone to the South to help integrate schools and businesses. He became the only link to their families, because authorities refused them contact with relatives in the North.

Nussbaum, a chaplain during World War II, was ordained at Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati. While in Jackson he taught at Millsaps College, a Methodist school.


Survivors include his wife, Arene; a daughter, grandson and two sisters.