Campus & Community

Center for Judaic Studies founder dies

Rabbi Dr. Stanley Wagner, founding director of the Center for Judaic Studies (CJS) at the University of Denver, died Feb. 23. During his 24-year tenure at DU, Rabbi Wagner made many scholarly contributions with broad impact on the Denver community.

Born in 1932, Wagner also was rabbi emeritus of BMH-BJ, the Denver Synagogue, as well as a world-renowned scholar. His recent work included a collaboration with Israel Drazin on a multivolume translation and commentary on the writings of Onkelos, an important second-century biblical commentator.

Wagner’s dedication, leadership and vision made Judaic Studies a reality at the University of Denver, says CJS director Sarah Pessin. His commitment to Judaic Studies has brought to the University a team of research and teaching experts in Jewish history, religion, literature, culture and thought.

“He is responsible for the historic beginnings of Jewish Studies as an academic discipline in Colorado, which has made it possible for thousands of people each year to engage in Jewish learning at the University, including faculty, students and community participants,” Pessin says. “We are forever thankful for and humbled by the legacy of Jewish learning that Rabbi Dr. Wagner has left for us and for countless students at the University and beyond.”

Rabbi Wagner is survived in Denver by his daughter, Chaya Meyer.

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