Bernard Mandelbaum; Former Head of Jewish Theological Seminary

Rabbi Bernard Mandelbaum, 79, a former president of the Jewish Theological Seminary, died June 19 of a heart attack at a nursing home in Plantation, Fla.

Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., Mandelbaum came to the seminary, the academic and spiritual center of Conservative Judaism in America, as a student in 1942.

He held a variety of posts at the seminary, including dean of students and professor of Midrash, or scriptural interpretation. He became president of the seminary in 1966 and served until 1971, when he left the seminary after losing a battle to become chancellor of the institution. He also served as president of the America-Israel Cultural Foundation and as executive vice president of the Synagogue Council of America.

Mandelbaum's major scholarly work was a critical edition of the "Pesikta deRav Kahana," a work of biblical interpretation dating to the 5th century, which was published by the seminary in 1962.

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