Jacob Pressman

picture of Rabbi Jacob Pressman  

Jacob Pressman was born in 1919 in Philadelphia, and is a Conservative Rabbi.

Rabbi Pressman graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1940 with a Bachelor of Arts. He also attended the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, where he was ordained in 1945.

His first post was as Rabbi of Forest Hills Jewish Center in Queens from 1944 and 1946. That year, he moved to LA and became associate rabbi at Sinai Temple, till 1950. In 1950, Rabbi Pressman took the position of Rabbi at Olympic Jewish Center, which was renamed Temple Beth Am in 1957. 

Rabbi Pressman also focused on aged care and education of Jewish youth. He established Beth Am Manor, a low-rent residence for senior citizens, and Rabbi Jacob Pressman Academy, a nursery, elementary and high school connected to the synagogue. 

Pressman lead the 'Save Soviet Jewry' campaign of the 1970s, after marching with Martin Luther King Jnr in Montgomery in 1965. He served on a variety of rabbinic boards and created Camp Ramah summer camp and the Brandeis-Bardin summer camp. He played a critical role in founding the Los Angeles Hebrew High School and the American Jewish University. The university represented Rabbi Pressman with the Rabbi Simon Greenberg Award in 2004.

Rabbi Pressman served as chairman of the Los Angeles Zionist Youth Commission and was the founding President of the Maple Counselling Center, based in Beverley Hills. He has written two books, and continues to write a weekly column in the Beverley Hills courier.