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Rabbi Leonard I. Beerman, the founding rabbi of Leo Baeck Temple, Los Angeles, Calif., will deliver the baccalaureate address at Lafayette at 10:30 a.m., Saturday, May 19.

At Lafayette’s 166th Commencement exercises, to be held at 2:30 p.m. that afternoon, he will be awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Divinity.

The Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Doris Kearns Goodwin will deliver the commencement address and will receive the honorary degree of Doctor of Letters. Both the baccalaureate and commencement ceremonies will be held outdoors on the Skillman Library Plaza.

Beerman is a graduate of Penn State University and the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, where he received the degrees of Rabbi and Doctor of Divinity. He is the founding rabbi of Leo Baeck Temple, a reform synagogue in West Los Angeles, which he served for 37 years until his retirement in 1986.

Throughout his career he has been involved in the issues of peace and social justice and has worked to apply the ethical principles of Judaism to everyday life and to bring conscience and faith to the forefront of many difficult and controversial social questions of our time.

Beerman is past president of the Board of Rabbis of Southern California and the Pacific Association of Reform Rabbis. With his friend Dr. George F. Regas, then rector of All Saints Episcopal Church of Pasadena, Calif., he was a cofounder of the Interfaith Center to Reverse the Arms Race.

Beerman has been honored by many organizations for his work, including the City of Los Angeles, American Civil Liberties Union, American Friends Service Committee, Physicians for Social Responsibility, Human Relations Commission of Los Angeles, Jewish War Veterans, Union of American Hebrew Congregations, Liberty Hill Foundation, and Los Angeles Psychological Association.

Beerman resides in Los Angeles with his wife, Dr. Joan Willens Beerman.

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