Hahn-Cook/Street & Draper Funeral Directors and Rose Hill Burial Park
6600 Broadway Extension, Oklahoma City, OK
Rabbi A. David Packman
May 22, 1938 – February 11, 2020
Rabbi A. David Packman, born May 22, 1938, died in Bethesda, Maryland on February 10, 2020.
Rabbi Packman was a spiritual leader of Temple B’nai Israel of Oklahoma City since 1976 and became Rabbi Emeritus in 2004.
He was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the oldest son of Dr. Martin and Thelma Packman. He received his BA from the University of Pennsylvania with a major in Middle Eastern Studies. He then attended seminary at Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion at the Cincinnati campus and was ordained in 1964.
Following ordination, Rabbi Packman served as the Jewish chaplain at Ramstein Air Force Base in Germany. He completed his tour of duty with the rank of captain. Following his service to his country, he received a Masters of Social Work from The Ohio State University.
His first full-time pulpit was at Temple Sinai in Newport News, Virginia, where he served from 1969 to 1976. From there, he moved to Temple B’nai Israel in Oklahoma City, where he served his congregation as a teacher, scholar and inspirational leader. He performed many sacred life cycle events for thousands of congregants and was a source of strength and spiritual direction for his beloved k’hilah kedoshah, his holy community. He loved teaching, sermonizing, and counseling.
Rabbi Packman never forgot the meaning of the word rabbi: my teacher. He taught children and adults and worked closely with those special people who chose Judaism as their life’s path. He was proud to be an adjunct faculty member at Oklahoma City University and also taught classes at Southern Nazarene University. He believed in the power of Jewish youth group and Jewish camping and supported many efforts to make these activities accessible and meaningful. He was a strong advocate for the Union for Reform Judaism’s Greene Family Camp from its earliest days. After Rabbi Packman became emeritus rabbi, he served as a part-time rabbi at Congregation B’nai Israel of Monroe, Louisiana.
Rabbi Packman was active in multiple community organizations which focused on fostering interfaith relations, forging stronger ties between the Jewish and African American communities and advocating for marginalized communities and individuals. He proudly served as President of Planned Parenthood and the Men’s Dinner Club. He also was grateful to have developed close ties to many other faith leaders in the community and was a source of advice and solace when they faced difficulties.
The world community became aware of Rabbi Packman’s oratorical gifts when he spoke at the memorial service held at the Oklahoma City Fairgrounds immediately after the Murrah Building bombing. His words stirred the wounded city and helped to foster healing in our nation and our world.
He was intensely curious and he was a source of knowledge and trivia on all subjects, including astronomy, botany and he had an avid interest in all animals. He was Chairman of the Lansbrook Duck and Goose committee for many years. A consequence of that was his long term friendship with his pet goose, Echo, who lived happily in the Packman backyard for 19 years.
Rabbi Packman’s partner in life was his wife of 59 years, Nina Packman. They met as youth groupers at Rodeph Shalom in Philadelphia and their shared journey was one of community, generosity and some adventure, too. They traveled extensively together and particularly enjoyed many cruises, where Rabbi Packman served as the ship’s rabbi.
The community adored Rabbi Packman but his family also loved him and his gentle, humble, generous spirit. Despite his many community responsibilities, he always had time for his children and they were greatly inspired and influenced by his commitment to social justice and kindness. He was “Little Grandpa” to his grandsons, willing to tell stories over and over and his granddaughters were perfect in his eyes.
Rabbi Packman is survived by his beloved family members: his wife, Nina, his brother, Dr. Gerald Packman (married to Dr. Linda Packman), his children Keren Alpert (married to Ted), Kenan Packman (married to Steve Quinn) and Jana Greenblatt (married to Mark). He was also the proud grandfather of Margot, Lucille and Alexandra Alpert as well as Micah and Levi Greenblatt. He is also survived by his sister-in-law Carol Josel as well as many loving nieces, nephews and cousins.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the A. David Packman Endowment fund at Temple B’nai Israel.
Burial will take place at Temple B’nai Israel Cemetery and a Memorial Service will be held 2:00 p.m., Friday, February 14, 2020 at Temple B’nai Israel.
- Rabbi Packman is survived by his beloved family members: his wife, Nina, his brother, Dr. Gerald Packman (married to Dr. Linda Packman), his children Keren Alpert (married to Ted), Kenan Packman (married to Steve Quinn) and Jana Greenblatt (married to Mark). He was also the proud grandfather of Margot, Lucille and Alexandra Alpert as well as Micah and Levi Greenblatt. He is also survived by his sister-in-law Carol Josel as well as many loving nieces, nephews and cousins.
- In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the A. David Packman Endowment fund at Temple B’nai Israel.
- Graveside Service Friday, February 14, 2020
- Memorial Service Friday, February 14, 2020
Rabbi A. David Packman
February 15, 2020
Rabbi paceman was the Rabbi at temple Sinai . He gave my brothers and i a Ride to religious school . He was so kind .
February 14, 2020
My condolences to the family of Rabbi Packman. He was a wonderful man and served the community in so many worthwhile ways. He will be missed.
February 12, 2020
Rabbi Packman has always been a man of strength compassion and wisdom. His passion for serving others, especially the afflicted and forgotten, was significant in uniting religious leaders with a common purpose of serving homeless persons in OKC.