STANLEY IRWIN ROBIN
June 10, 1934 - June 21, 2020
Stanley Irwin Robin, husband, father, grandfather, and a Rabbi deeply connected to spirituality and humanity, died on Sunday, June 21st in Bakersfield, CA. He was 86. Beth Robin, his wife, confirmed his death, from prostate cancer.
Stanley Robin was born in 1934 in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania to William and Betty Robin. It was in Pittsburg that he was introduced to Judaism through both parents. His father had a strong Jewish heritage. His own father was a cantor's assistant in an orthodox shul. Stanley spent many days at the synagogue, where his mother was a secretary, and this had a lasting impact on young Stanley. He found his own path to Judaism there.
The family relocated to Los Angeles, California where Stanley attended Los Angeles High School. He continued to pursue Judaism, where as he once told his son Daniel, he found comfort, intellectual rigor, and a sense of belonging as a teenager.
He continued his education at UCLA where he met his first wife, Etta Robin. Stanley made a decision to pursue a Rabbinical career, and the young couple moved to Cincinnati where he attended the Hebrew Union College. After his Rabbinical training, in the late 1950's, Stanley and Etta moved to Israel to learn Hebrew and further establish their relationship with Judaism.
After his ordination in 1962 from Hebrew Union College, Stanley served in the Army as a Chaplain. He was stationed in Fort Sill, Oklahoma, where he and Etta welcomed their first child, Debbie. The family then moved to Munich, Germany where Stanley completed his Army service, and their son Daniel was born in 1965.
After working as an Assistant Rabbi in Dallas, Texas and Tucson, Arizona, Stanley attained his own pulpit at Temple Beth El in Bakersfield, California in 1972. During his time as a pulpit Rabbi in Bakersfield, Stanley cultivated his growing sense of social justice, culminating in his active support for the Cesar Chavez led grape strike in this very prominent farming community of Bakersfield, His Rabbinical career and devotion to social justice eventually took Stanley on a journey as a prison Chaplain that would last for more than 30 years. In his own words: "During my time in the prison Chaplaincies, I had very close and warm contacts with people of all faiths, including their leaders: Protestant ministers, Catholic Priests, Native Americans, Muslims, Buddhists, Black and white Chaplains." Toward the end of his tenure at Temple Beth El, Stanley went through a divorce and eventually met and married Beth Robin, a joyous and nurturing partnership that would last for 40 years, until his passing.
Always the student with a penchant for learning, in retirement Stanley pursued his passion for history and Judaism, poring over books and having intense philosophical discussions, often with his close friend Dr. Donald Sheffel.
Throughout his life, Stanley was respected for his unwavering pursuit of knowledge, and he was loved for his joy of life and the humor he brought to all who knew him - a true Mensch.
Stanley Robin is survived by his wife Beth Robin, his son Daniel Robin, his daughter Debbie Frank, husband Dr. Andrew Frank, and granddaughters Sydney and Charlotte Frank, and his brother Ronald Robin and wife Florence and children Michael, Steve, and Janet Robin. He is also survived by stepsons Chuck Dills of Portland, Oregon, wife Kristine, and grandchildren Finn, Allie, and Ripley Dills as well as stepson Matthew Dills of Bakersfield, and grandchildren Penellope, Kalliope, Oliver, and Ellery as well as extended family and friends.
The funeral will be held on Wednesday, June 24, 2020 at Mount Sinai Hollywood Hills at 10:00am. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to: The Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, (giving@RAC.org)