Earl David Raab
April 2, 1919 - October 24, 2015
Earl Raab, a preeminent sociologist, civil rights activist, public intellectual and a leading voice for American Jewish advocacy, passed away on October 24th, 2015 in Forest Knolls, CA at age 96. Raab, a prolific commentator and author on American political culture and the Jewish experience in America, made his home in San Francisco where he directed the city's Jewish Community Relations Council from 1951-1987.
Born on April 2nd and/or 3rd 1919, and raised in New York and Virginia during the Great Depression, Raab attended the City College of New York in the late 1930's, where he joined a group of Trotskyite radicals from which emerged some of America's leading 20th century intellectuals. Raab served as an officer in the Army Air Corps during WWII, where he met his wife, Kassie. After the war, the couple moved to a dairy farm in Maine, where Earl aimed to focus on his writing career. Better writer than farmer, the couple soon left for San Francisco, where Earl began as Director of the JCRC. After retiring from the JCRC, Raab served as the founding director of the Perlmutter Institute for Jewish Advocacy at Brandeis University.
In addition to numerous articles in publications such as Commentary, and Public Interest, Raab wrote, among others, Major Social Problems (with Gertrude Selznick), the Politics of Unreason and Jews in the New American Scene (both with Seymour Martin Lipset).
Earl and Kassie were married for 66+ years. They are survived by their children; Earl B. Raab and Liz (David) Lauter; His grandchildren, Morris Raab, Louie Lauter (Mara McDermott), Devorah Lauter (Jean-Bernard Prouhet), Mimi Lauter and Margie Lauter (Andrew Epstein); and his great-grand children Mollie Lauter, Kassie Prouhet and Rosalyn Lauter.
The memorial service is Tuesday, October 27, 2015 at 11:00am at Sinai Memorial Chapel. Donations in his memory may be made to the Earl Raab Fund for public advocacy through the San Francisco JCRC.www.jcrc.org
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Published by San Francisco Chronicle from Oct. 25 to Oct. 27, 2015.