Rabbi Harvey J. Fields, z”l, was a native of Portland, Oregon and graduate of UCLA. He was ordained at Hebrew Union College in 1963, and in 1974 he received his Ph.D. in American Diplomatic History from Rutgers University.
He served our congregation as Senior Rabbi from 1978-1982. During those years he introduced a new prayerbook, The Gates of Prayer, which he assisted in writing and editing. Rabbi Fields emphasized an early Friday night service to encourage families to spend time together around their own Shabbat tables. He also prepared a series of user-friendly prayer pamphlets for each holiday to strengthen home observance of the festivals. He established the Department for Jewish Living at Holy Blossom Temple to animate the congregation with new energy and new young leadership.
From Toronto, Rabbi Fields went on to be the Senior Rabbi of Wilshire Boulevard Temple, where he served for 23 years.
Outside of the pulpit, Rabbi Fields served as President of the Board of Rabbis of Southern California, chaired both the Inter-Religious Council of Southern California and the Jewish Community Relations Committee of the Los Angeles Jewish Federation, and was Founding Chair of the Interfaith Coalition to Heal LA. He co-chaired the new World Union for Progressive Judaism’s Israel Development Commission, served on the Executive Committee of the Israel Policy Forum, and was a member of Rebuild LA and the Board of Governors of the Jewish Agency for Israel. Further, he is knowns for his book on prayer, B’chol Le-vavecha — With all your Heart, and for his three-volume, A Torah Commentary for our Times.
Rabbi Fields lived in Los Angeles with his wife, Sybil, and was the father of Debra Fields and Jonathan Silberman, Joel Fields and Jessica Sultan, and of Rachel and Hanan Prishkolnick of Tel Aviv, and the grandfather of Rebecca, Ari, Jeremy, Noa and Amit.
The funeral will take place Sunday, January 26th at 1:00 p.m at the Wilshire Boulevard Temple in Los Angeles, CA.
May his memory be a blessing.
Condolences may be sent to the family care of:
Wilshire Boulevard Temple
Erika J. Glazer Family Campus
3663 Wilshire Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90010-2798