Communities are always searching for ways to memorialize their leaders. Pinecrest’s own Rabbi Emeritus Herbert Baumgard was recently honored by having a well-traveled street named after him.
Rabbi Baumgard, who founded and led the Temple Beth Am congregation for more than 30 years will have a portion of Kendall Drive, between Red Road (57th Avenue) and SW 60th Avenue designated “Rabbi Baumgard Road.”
“Temple Beth Am is honored that the extraordinary life of Rabbi Herbert Baumgard, may his memory be for a blessing, will be remembered forever in such a wonderful way,” said Temple Beth Am Senior Rabbi, Jeremy Barras. “Truly his life and what he built here represent a cherished pillar of Pinecrest history, and his legacy should be made known to all the generations to come.”
On Tuesday, September 20, 2016, the Village of Pinecrest conducted a public hearing to designate this section of Kendall Drive, which is located adjacent to Temple Beth Am, in honor of Rabbi Baumgard and his legacy of inclusion, friendship and understanding. This is the seventh roadway co-designated by the Village of Pinecrest since 1996.
“The Baumgard family is so touched by this recognition and we thank you for this honor,” said Daniel Baumgard at the public hearing. “My father truly loved to help others and saw this as his ultimate calling.”
It is because of Rabbi Baumgard’s dynamic leadership that Temple Beth Am became one of the largest and most well-respected Reform congregations in the southeast United States. Under his tenure, the congregation grew from a small synagogue of 55 families in 1955 to a 14.5-acre campus boasting at strong and dynamic membership of 1,700 Jewish and interfaith families.
Village of Pinecrest Mayor Cindy Lerner, who is herself a longtime member of the Temple Beth Am congregation, said it was an honor for her to do this in memory of Rabbi Baumgard.
“This is a piece of Pinecrest history, he helped build our community” Mayor Lerner stated. “My own family has been a part of Temple Beth Am for three generations.”
Ordained in 1950, Rabbi Baumgard went on to become one of the leading experts on Jewish prophets and was widely regarded as one of the leading interpreters of Liberal Judaism before his passing on April 15, 2016.
We stand on the shoulders of Rabbi Baumgard,” said Robert Hersh, Executive Director of Temple Beth Am, who knew him for 45 years. “He was working up until a week before he died. His legacy should be revered and I hope that the children of Pinecrest realize that if not for him, we would not be where we are.”
WHAT: Official Co-designation of Portion of Kendall Drive for Rabbi Herbert Baumgard
WHO: Members of the Temple Beth Am community
Village of Pinecrest officials
WHEN: October 21, 2016 at 9:00 a.m.
WHERE: Kendall Drive and 60th Avenue