The officers of the Board of Trustees of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations profoundly mourn the death on March 15th, 2002, of a long-time colleague, Bernard G. Sang of Northbrook, Illinois. After 20 years as an active Board member, including two terms as a UAHC vice-chairman, Bernie was elected as an honorary life trustee in 1977. A life-long Reform Jew, Bernie was a founder and second president of the National Federation of Temple Youth, NFTY, now of course the North American Federation of Temple Youth.
His interest in young people remained constant throughout his life, and he chaired the Union's College Youth Committee in addition to membership in a wide variety of committees over the years. Bernie was an activist who gave more than his name to the causes he supported. He gave with his time and talents as well as his parnassah. It was his concern for the youth of our Movement that led Bernie and his father Phillip, zl, to endow and help create UAHC Olin-Sang-Ruby Camp Institute, affectionately known as OSURI.
Because of his great dedication to the health and welfare of the camp, Bernie, as a practicing attorney, would frequently solicit the financial support of his clients. Bernie retained close ties with his childhood congregation, Oak Park Temple of Illinois, formerly the Washington Boulevard Temple of Chicago. He was a member and former officer of North Shore Congregation Israel in Glencoe, Illinois. He was involved in many civic and communal organizations, and held office in quite a few, including the American Jewish Committee, the Jewish Welfare Board, Boys' Clubs of America, the Chicago Standard Club and he was a fellow of Brandeis University.
When Bernie came on the UAHC Board, he completed a Leadership Data Form and responded to the query regarding hobbies and special interests with the words, "causing trouble." If honesty and a passion for one's beliefs creates trouble, then Bernie did just that. He held very definite opinions; he was also prepared to share them, for he was never in doubt. He held fast to his beliefs, but was always willing to admit if found to be in error. Bernie took great pride in his Judaism, and never sought honor, to him, the honor was to be a Jew. Bernie practiced many of the rites of Judaism which were not always seen within the Reform Movement, but they were geared to him as were the Hebrew and Yiddish expressions that very much were an important part of his vocabulary. He took great joy in helping others behind their backs, in quiet, unsung ways, doing nice favors for people in quiet, unsung ways and without their knowledge.
We are deeply saddened by Bernard Sang's death, and grieve with his children, Ruth Ellen and George, grandchildren and all his loved ones. We pray the many beautiful life memories they hold dear will always be a source of comfort and blessing. Ken yehi ratzon.