NEW YORK (Nov. 13)
Funeral services will be held tomorrow for Emil Baar, a former New York State Supreme Court Justice and a leader of Reform Judaism. He died Monday at New York Hospital. He was 94 years old.
Baar was born in Vienna and emigrated to the United States at the age of two with his family. The family lived in Brooklyn for many years. Baar worked his way through Columbia College and Columbia University Law School and was admitted to the bar in 1916. Following service in France with the 49th Infantry Division during World War 1, he entered law practice and became active in civic, political and Jewish affairs.
In 1940 he ran unsuccessfully for Brooklyn Borough President on the Republican ticket. In 1951 he was elected to the State Supreme Court. He was a special assistant to the State Attorney General in 1955 and 1959.
A former president of Union Temple of Brooklyn, Baar in 1959 was elected national chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations. He served until 1963 and was later named honorary lifetime chairman of the board. In 1981 the UAHC honored him with its Maurice Eisendrath Bearer of Light Award “for service to Reform Judaism.”
Baar was active in numerous civic, religious and humanitarian organizations. He was president of the Jewish Braille Institute 1962-69 and held leadership posts in the National Conference of Christians and Jews, Jewish Hospital of Brooklyn, the Brooklyn Jewish Community Council, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, Federation of Jewish Philanthropies and the World Union for Progressive Judaism.
Among the organizations that honored Baar for his volunteer leadership were the Synagogue Council of America and the National Federation of Temple Brotherhoods. In 1965 he received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion.