Gary Tobin, 1949-2009 * Influential Scholar and Jewish Leader

All of us at Kulanu honor the memory of Gary Tobin and send our condolences to Diane Tobin, their children, and the staff of IJCR/Bechol Lashon. Gary’s work with his beloved wife, Diane, in establishing and nurturing Bechol Lashon has made a huge difference for the Abayudaya Jews of Uganda and for Jews in many other faraway places, as well as in America.

May his memory be for a blessing.

Harriet Bograd
President, Kulanu

Gary TobinFounder and president of San Francisco-based Institute for Jewish & Community Research (IJCR), Dr. Gary Tobin passed away on July 6, 2009 at age 59.

Dr. Tobin was an innovative teacher, writer, researcher, and community builder who worked courageously and passionately to help the Jewish people grow and thrive.

In all his work, Dr. Tobin challenged the status quo of institutions for which he cared deeply yet always believed could be better.

Whether it was the Jewish federation system, American academia, or the State of Israel, Dr. Tobin was never afraid to challenge and provoke, always expecting better and more. He believed the greatest expressions of affection came not through blind praise but through thoughtful criticism and unlimited optimism for the things that meant the most to him.

At his last Passover Seder, Dr. Tobin reminded his family that the Jewish people entered the Promised Land without their leader Moses. Dr. Tobin worked tirelessly to coach his team of colleagues at IJCR. He wanted his work to live be beyond him, not for the sake of his own legacy but for the sake of the greater good he always pursued. The Institute for Jewish & Community Research will continue to advance his visionary research.

Though the Jewish community has lost a great leader, Dr. Tobin left a gift in both the work he completed and the work he initiated for others to complete. We remember Gary Tobin as a wise community leader, loving husband, and father. He devoted his life to his wife and business partner Diane, their children Adam, Amy, Sarah, Aryeh, Mia and Jonah, and his grandson, Josiah.

The memorial will be held on Thursday, July 9, 2009 at 1:00 pm at Congregation Beth Sholom, 301 14th Avenue at Clement Street, in San

For more information please go to