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obituary
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Michael Barenbaum spacee Michael Barenbaum

Rabbi Michael Barenbaum, a longtime Tiburon resident, died surrounded by family and friends May 29 after complications of an infection. He was 76.

Rabbi Barenbaum was born in Chicago to Abe and Rena Barenbaum. He studied to be a rabbi at Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, Ohio. He served as a rabbi first at Temple Ohabei Shalom in Brookline, Mass., and at Temple Emanuel Sinai in Worcester, Mass.

When he took up his post at Congregation Rodef Sholom in San Rafael in 1977, he and his family moved to California and settled in Tiburon.

As the senior rabbi at Rodef Sholom for 27 years, and rabbi emeritus there since his retirement, Rabbi Barenbaum was a spiritual leader and mentor to many in a community that he loved and nurtured, his son Daniel Barenbaum said.

Rabbi Barenbaum was instrumental in the creation of the Osher Marin Jewish Community Center campus, the migration of Brandeis Hillel Day School to its Marin location at Rodef Sholom, and the founding of the hospice at the Bay Area Jewish Healing Center in San Francisco.

"But as important as his role as rabbi and community leader was to him, his greatest achievement was as a true partner to (his wife) in devotion to each other and their family," said his son. "Nothing gave him more pleasure than being surrounded by his grandchildren and children."
Rabbi Barenbaum's wife, Hannah, died in 2011.

In addition to son Daniel Barenbaum of Mill Valley, he is survived by daughter Naomi Leonard of Tiburon; five grandchildren, Emma, Samuel and Henry Barenbaum, and Sadie and Simon Leonard; and several cousins, to whom he was close.

A memorial service was held June 1 at Congregation Rodef Sholom in San Rafael.

Donations in his memory may be made to the Rabbi Michael Barenbaum Endowment Fund at Congregation Rodef Sholom, 170 North San Pedro Road, San Rafael, CA 94903.

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