Rabbi Joseph Weizenbaum
80, died peacefully in Tucson on July 1, 2013. Always outspoken on issues of social justice and human rights, he was a rabbi and teacher for over 55 years, the last 41 of them in Tucson. He was the founder of Congregation Ner Tamid, which he led from 1993 to his retirement in 2002. Prior to that he served for 21 years as the Senior Rabbi of Temple Emanu-El in Tucson. He also served as an Air Force and VA chaplain. Born and raised in Pittsburgh, he was ordained and earned a doctorate from Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati.
Rabbi Weizenbaum was an active leader in the Tucson community. While he championed many issues over the years, he was particularly proud of being the first Jewish religious leader to affiliate himself with the sanctuary movement in the 1980s that assisted Central American refugees to come to safety in the US. Drawing a parallel with his own father's European immigrant experience, he viewed such assistance as a moral and ethical obligation.
He is survived by devoted wife Eileen; children, David, Jon (Nancy), and Suzy; stepdaughter, Melissa (Karl); grandchildren, Emma, Camille, Shane, Andrea, Jordan (Marissa), and Kiley; and former wife Sharon Kahn. A Memorial Service will be held Sunday, July 7, 2013 at 2:00 p.m. at the Tucson Jewish Community Center, 3800 E. River Rd. Private interment in the Congregation Ner Tamid Section of Evergreen Cemetery. Arrangements by EVERGREEN MORTUARY. To offer condolences visit www.evergreenmortuary-cemetery.com. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the charity of your choice.