Rabbi Herman Schaalman, Interfaith Leader, Dies at 100

Rabbi Herman Schaalman died Tuesday at the age of 100. 

He was the rabbi at Emanuel Congregation, a synagogue in Chicago’s Edgewater neighborhood, from 1956 to 1988. Schaalman was a Holocaust survivor and a leader in bringing people of various faiths together. And late in life, the rabbi had an epiphany: He decided he no longer believed in God.

“It is with profound sadness that we share with you that our beloved Rabbi Emeritus Herman Schaalman, z”l died this afternoon at home,” a post on the synagogue’s website reads.

In May 2015, Phil Ponce spoke with Schaalman on Chicago Tonight. Watch the original video above. We’ll revisit that interview on Thursday.

A funeral service for Schaalman will be held at 11 a.m. Friday at Emanuel Congregation

Video below: Schaalman talks about religion and his experiences in Nazi Germany in “Thirty Good Minutes,” produced by the Chicago Sunday Evening Club. The program aired on WTTW in 2011.


Related stories:

New Book Seeks to Answer the ‘Why’ Behind the Holocaust

Jan. 26: For 36 years, professor Peter Hayes sought to understand and explain the Holocaust to students at Northwestern University. He joins us to discuss his new book.


Elie Wiesel, Holocaust Survivor, Nobel Prize Winner, Dies at 87

July 5: On Saturday, Holocaust survivor and Nobel Prize-winner Elie Wiesel died. He was 87 years old. In 2002, host Phil Ponce spoke with the author and activist about his widely acclaimed book "Night." Watch the full interview.


David Gregory Details His ‘Unlikely Spiritual Journey’

Oct. 13, 2015: The former "Meet the Press" moderator and White House correspondent was raised in a two-faith household but without much in the way of belief. His marriage to a Christian woman and their decision to raise their children as Jewish sparked a spiritual journey.