Rabbi Marvin L. Labinger executive director of the Pacific Southwest Region of United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism from 1990-2000, died July 25, 2002 at the age of 66.
Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., he was ordained at the Jewish Theological Seminary in 1960 and immediately began a 30-year career as Jewish chaplain in the Air Force, retiring with the rank of colonel. Serving all denominations, he also developed management and leadership programs for Catholic and Protestant chaplains. The first Jewish chaplain to be chosen for any military academy, he served at several air force bases around the country, as well as in England, Spain and Germany.
In additon to the the many leadership, adult education and Judaism programs he taught, he headed the religious program at the Cuban Refugee Center from 1978-1981; taught at Temple Beth Sholom in Las Vegas in the 1980s; and in the 1990s, conducted High Holy Day services at Congregation Beth Israel in Vancouver.
Labinger was actively involved with Catholic-Jewish Dialogue and the Jewish Community Relations Council of the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles.
He was a recipient of the Dr. Sheitlis Award in medieval Hebrew literature, the B'nai Brith Four Chaplains Award for Interfaith Activities, the Air Force Meritorious Service Medal and the Humanitarian Service Medal for his work with Cuban refugees.
He is survived by his wife, Joette; daughter, Gila Freeberg; son, Zev; and four grandchildren.
To donate to the Rabbi Marvin L. Labinger Memorial Fund, contact Adat Ari El, (818) 766-9426; or United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, (818) 986-0907. -- USCJ