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HaMifgash
-Noun: meeting, gathering, conversation; encounter

David E. Purpel: In Memoriam

David E. Purpel, who passed away on April 19th, was a friend and mentor to so many participants in HaMifgash. It was David's visionary leadership and guidance that inspired the conferences (mifgashim), the engaged study of Jewish texts and ideas, that is at the heart of HaMifgash. Last year David attended the Mifgash and he led us in a discussion of this essay. On Being a Jew and a Boston Braves Fan: Alone and Afraid in a World I Never Made" from Moral Outrage in Education (Peter Lang Publishing: 2005).

It is fitting that we begin our Mifgash 2010 with reflections revisiting some of the humorous and wise insights from this signature essay. Ira Weingarten, a former student, and Harold Berlak, a long time friend, will lead us in our reflections.

A more formal biography will follow when we post a video of David's conversation with students and colleagues recorded in January 2010. We will learn about his legendary success in advising doctoral students. His approach to helping students frame and finish their dissertations recounts his own learning process to becoming the great mentor whom we will miss.

David served as Professor in the Department of Educational Leadership and Cultural Studies at the University of North Carolina-Greensboro. His book, The Moral and Spiritual Crisis in Education, has been reprinted and updated. It is a modern classic in the field of education. David and Elaine celebrated their lives together for almost 52 years. He also leaves his three children and two grandchildren as well as two sisters and a brother. David's legacy is his tremendous contribution to teaching and his gentleness. May his work and memory be for a blessing. Y'hi Zichro Barcuch.