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David Cedarbaum Papers

Identifier: P-914

Scope and Content Note

The collection documents the time David Cedarbaum spent serving as a Jewish military chaplain in the Marianas during World War II. The collection is arranged in three series: Series I: Papers, Series II: Scrapbook and Series III: Artifacts.


  • undated, 1944-1951, 1955, 1959, 1989
  • Majority of material found within 1944 - 1946


Access Restrictions

The collection is open to all researchers, except items that may be restricted due to their fragility, or privacy.

Use Restrictions

No permission is required to quote, reproduce or otherwise publish manuscript materials found in this collection, as long as the usage is scholarly, educational, and non-commercial. For inquiries about other usage, please contact the Director of Collections and Engagement at

For reference questions, please email:

Biographical Note

David I. Cedarbaum (1903-1987)

David I. Cedarbaum was born on April 26, 1903, in New York City. He received his bachelor's degree from the College of the City of New York in 1922, a master's degree from Columbia Teacher's College in 1924, and graduated as a rabbi from Hebrew Union College in 1933. Cedarbaum was a lifelong religious educator. From 1918 to 1922, he was a teacher at the Hebrew Educational Society of Brooklyn. From 1922 to 1924, he was a teacher at the Central Jewish Institute in New York City. From 1924 to 1926, he was a teacher at Hebrew High School of The Bureau of Jewish Education in New York City. He also served as the principal of three schools: Sabbath School, Hebrew Educational Society (1920-1922); Sunday School of Temple Israel of Washington Heights (1927-1928); and Louisville Hebrew Schools, Louisville, Ky. (1929-1930). Cedarbaum also served as assistant director of the Jewish Education Section of The Jewish Communal Survey of Greater New York from 1927 to 1929. From 1936 to 1943, he served as rabbi and head of the Department of Jewish Education for the Educational Alliance in Manhattan.

During World War II, Cedarbaum served as a military chaplain with the 20th Air Force in the Marianas. After the war, he worked as the Educational Consultant on the Supervision Staff of the Board of Jewish Education in Chicago. In this position, which he held from 1946 to 1968, he supervised all Reform Jewish Sunday schools in Chicago. He was also a professor of education and head of the Department for the Training of Sunday School Teachers at the College of Jewish Studies. Additionally, he was Educational Director for the Chicago Federation of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations. Cedarbaum also served as Chairman of the Committee on Religious Education for the Central Conference of American Rabbis and as a member of the National Commission on Jewish Education of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations and Central Conference of American Rabbis.

In addition to these responsibilities, Cedarbaum served as part-time rabbi of several congregations throughout his career, including Temple Beth El in Benton Harbor, Mich.; Congregation B'nai Jehoshua and Congregation Beth Or in Deerfield, Ill.; B'nai Torah in Highland Park, Ill.; and Temple Beth Israel, Temple Ezra, and Congregation Beth Elohim in Des Plains, Ill.

Cedarbaum passed away on July 30, 1987, in Laguna Hills, Calif. He was married to Sophia Ann Cedarbaum (nee Nahamkin). They had one son, Jesse M. Cedarbaum.


"Rabbi David Cedarbaum, 84, Retired Religious Educator," New York Times, August 8, 1987.

Biographical material, Papers of David Cedarbaum, P-914, Box 1, Folder 1, Collection of the American Jewish Historical Society, Boston, MA, and New York, NY


3.9 Linear Feet (1 manuscript box, 2 oversized boxes)

Language of Materials



The collection documents the time David Cedarbaum spent serving as a Jewish military chaplain in the Marianas during World War II.

Acquisition Information

Donated by Sophie W. Cedarbaum in June 2007.

Guide to the David Cedarbaum (1903-1987) Papers, undated, 1944-1951, 1955, 1959, 1989   P-914
Processed by Sarah Glover
© 2011
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Description is in English.

Revision Statements

  • May 2017.: Tanya Elder added links to Museum Collection items in Series III: Artifacts.
  • November 2020: RJohnstone: post-ASpace migration cleanup.

Repository Details

Part of the American Jewish Historical Society Repository

15 West 16th Street
New York NY 10011 United States