BACKMAN, JULES (1910–1982), U.S. Reform lay leader. Backman was born in New York and received his D.C.S. from New York University in 1935. He became an economic advisor to federal and state governments, a professor at NYU, and an editorial writer for the New York Times. Backman served as national chairman of the Reform Jewish Appeal (1965–69) and was a member of the executive committee of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations. He was elected to the Board of Governors at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in 1963, rising to become its chairman from 1976 until his death. Backman, who was instrumental in relocating the New York school of HUC-JIR to its present home near Washington Square and the NYU campus, received the seminary's American Judaism Award in 1970. (Bezalel Gordon (2nd ed.)

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

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