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Rabbi George (Gershom) Barnard
Rabbi Emeritus

Rabbi George Barnard, Rabbi Emeritus of Northern Hills SynagogueRabbi Gershom (George) Barnard, Rabbi Emeritus of Northern Hills Synagogue, was born in Brookline, Massachusetts, and attended schools in Brookline and Stoughton, Massachusetts, and Harvard University, from which he graduated in 1969 with the degree of B.A. summa cum laude in philosophy.

He attended the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in New York from 1969 to 1975, earning the degree of M.A.H.L. with honors as well as a rabbinical diploma. His rabbinic dissertation was on the subject “The Seven Noachide Commandments Considered as a Contribution to the Theory of Natural Law”.

From 1971 to 1973, Rabbi Barnard studied Jewish Philosophy at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. In 1982, he received the degree of M.Ed. from the University of Cincinnati, having completed studies in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction.

His wife, Sarah, whom he met in Israel, is a native of Toronto; she is a librarian at Hebrew Union College. Rabbi and Mrs. Barnard were married in 1974, and they have three children, Noam Yaakov, Miriam Batsheva, and Ryvka Michal.

In 1975, Rabbi Barnard became the spiritual leader of Congregation B'nai Avraham - Northern Hills Synagogue. He is a member of the Rabbinical Assembly, the Greater Cincinnati Board of Rabbis, and the National Rabbinic Cabinet of the Jewish Federations of North America. In 1987 he was honored with the Israel Freedom Award by State of Israel Bonds. In 2000, Rabbi Barnard was awarded the degree of Doctor of Divinity honoris causa by Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion, and, in 2001, he was similarly honored by the Jewish Theological Seminary of America. In 1983-1985, and again in 2001-2003, he served as President of the Greater Cincinnati Board of Rabbis.

On June 30, 2014, Rabbi Barnard retired after 39 years of dedicated service to Northern Hills Synagogue. He remains an important part of our community as Rabbi Emeritus.


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