Rabbi Greenberg has admitted writing a letter dated December 11 to President Clinton on the stationery of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, recommending a pardon for Mr. Rich, the mysterious commodities trader, tax cheat, and alleged spy. The letter asked for the pardon as "one of the most Godlike actions that anyone can ever do." President Clinton issued the pardon January 20, his last day in office, touching off a storm of controversy.
Stephen Schwartz, Forward, Holocaust Museum Chief Stumbles Into Flap Over Pardon of Scofflaw Rich, at www.forward.com/issues/2001/01.02.09/news5.html
Rabbi Irving (Yitz) Greenberg is the President of
CHAverIm kol yisrael/Jewish Life Network (CKY/JLN), a Judy and Michael Steinhardt
Foundation. CKY/JLNs mission is to create new institutions and initiatives to enrich
the inner life (religious, cultural, institutional) of American Jewry.
An ordained Orthodox rabbi, a Harvard Ph.D. and scholar, Rabbi
Greenberg has been a seminal thinker in confronting the Holocaust as an historical
transforming event and Israel as the Jewish assumption of power and the beginning of a
third era in Jewish history. In the book, Interpreters of Judaism in the Late Twentieth
Century, Professor Steven T. Katz wrote, "No Jewish thinker has had a greater
impact on the American Jewish community in the last two decades than Irving (Yitz)
Greenberg." Rabbi Greenberg has published numerous articles and monographs on Jewish
thought and religion, and a book, The Jewish Way: Living the Holidays, a philosophy
of Judaism based on an analysis of the Sabbath and holidays. A new book, Living in the
Image of God: Jewish Teachings to Perfect the World, was published by Jason
Aronson in May 1998.
From 1974 through 1997, he served as founding President of CLAL The National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership, a pioneering institution in the development of adult and leadership education in the Jewish community and the leading organization in intra-Jewish dialogue and the work of Jewish unity. Before CLAL was founded, he served as Rabbi of the Riverdale Jewish Center, as Associate Professor of History at Yeshiva University, and as founder, chairman and Professor in the Department of Jewish Studies of City College of the City University of New York.