Jewish Community Relations Councilof San Francisco, the Peninsula, Marin, Sonoma, Alameda and Contra Costa Counties

Earl Raab

Dean of Community Relations

Earl Raab, z"l, was a preeminent sociologist, civil rights activist, public intellectual and a leading voice for American Jewish advocacy. He was also a prolific commentator and author on American political culture and the Jewish experience in America. He directed the San Francisco-based Jewish Community Relations Council from 1951-1987 and, after retiring, 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).

This website, paid for by generous donations from the Bay Area Jewish community, is intended both as a memorial and a comprehensive compendium of his written works. Read more about Earl's life here.

Earl Raab's Writings



"Earl was a craftsman--of ideas, language, and viewpoints. He had the extraordinary ability to listen to differing views, and, without pause, to identify common ground from which to mold a united policy..." --Rabbi Douglas Kahn  [more]

"My father, I think, respected Earl's judgment and wisdom more than almost anyone else's. And in re-reading some of Earl's writings, I see why." --William Kristol  [more]

"Earl was my mentor of several decades. And my friend. But I was only one among many beneficiaries of his incandescent mind and fierce belief in the redemptive power of Community." --Phil Bronstein  [more]

For the full testimonials by Rabbi Douglas Kahn, William Kristol and Phil Bronstein, as well as more about Earl's life, visit the About Earl page.


The Earl Raab Award

As one of co-founders of the Jewish Public Affairs Committee of California (JPAC), Earl recognized the importance for advocacy of having a strong, unified voice. The Earl Raab Award is awarded annually in his honor to a community activist who best exemplifies his high standard of communal activism and advocacy for residents of California.