Skip to main content

Rabbi Bernard Raskas papers

Identifier: umja0073

Scope and Contents

This collection consists of administrative and professional materials related to Rabbi Bernard Raskas's career and includes: correspondence, both with organizations and individuals; transcripts of public talks and sermons; professional writings and clippings of these publications; subject files related to various subjects of interest; subject cards written on 3x5 cards with information regarding various subjects of interest; teaching materials, including syllabi, course packets, course evaluations, and course planning documents; and general administrative materials including meeting minutes, service planning, service booklets, and bulletins. Materials range in date between 1934 and 2006, with the bulk of the materials dating between the 1960s and 1980s.


  • 1934-2006
  • Majority of material found in 1960s-1980s


Access to Collection

Open for use in the Elmer L. Andersen Library reading room.


This collection may be protected by the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, U.S. Code). It is the user's responsibility to verify copyright ownership and to obtain all necessary permissions prior to the reproduction, publication, or other use of any portion of these materials. Researchers may quote from the collection under the fair use provision of the copyright law.

Biographical / Historical

Born in 1924 in St. Louis, Missouri to Isaac and Rivka Raskas, Bernard Solomon Raskas graduated from Washington University before going on to the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York. Before moving to New York her married his life, Laeh; they later went on to have three children: Hillel, David, and Eve. Raskas worked briefly at the Elucid Jewish Center in Ohio before coming to St. Paul in 1951 to Temple of Aaron, becoming Senior Rabbi in 1953 with the retirement of Rabbi Herman Cohen. He served at Temple of Aaron until 1989 when he became Rabbi Emeritus and Laureate. Raskas then went on to become a Distinguished Visiting Professor of Religious Studies at Macalester College in St. Paul, after having been the first Associate Jewish Chaplain.

Raskas was a strong supporter of the DFL party, supporting his friends Walter Mondale and Paul Wellstone. He also published various books throughout the years, including a trilogy Heart of Wisdom, Seasons of the Mind, and Jewish Spirituality and Faith. In 2006 a part of Harford Avenue, the street that runs by Temple of Aaron, was named Raskas Road. He passed away in 2010 and was buried at Mount of Olives Cemetery in Jerusalem next to his wife, Laeh.


27.5 Cubic Feet (40 boxes -- 22 paige boxes, 18 notecard boxes)

Language of Materials



This collection consists of the professional papers of Rabbi Bernard S. Raskas during his tenure at Temple of Aaron in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Organization of the Collection

This collection is divided into series:

Series 1: Correspondence

-- Sub-series 1: Rabbi Raskas correspondence

-- Sub-series 2: Rabbi Miller correspondence

Series 2: Sermons and writings

Series 3: General administrative

Series 4: Subject files

Series 5: Teaching Materials - Macalester College

Source of acquisition

Donated to the Jewish Historical Society of the Upper Midwest by both Rabbi Raskas and his family between 1990 and 2006.

Rabbi Bernard Raskas papers, 1934-2006
Kate Dietrick
July 2016
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Collecting Area Details

Contact The Upper Midwest Jewish Archives Collecting Area