Rabbi James Diamond, the retired director of Princeton University’s Center for Jewish Life, died in a traffic accident after leaving a breakfast Talmud study group.
Diamond, 73, who retired from the center 10 years ago, was killed March 28 when a speeding car crashed into a parked car that the rabbi was entering on the passenger side. The driver of the parked car, Rabbi Robert Freedman, who also attended the study group, was hospitalized. He is expected to recover from his injuries.
Diamond was the director of the Center for Jewish Life from 1995 to 2003. He also served as executive director of the Hillel at Washington University in St. Louis from 1972 to 1995, and at Indiana University from 1968 to 1972.
He taught courses in modern Hebrew literature and Judaic Studies at Washington and Princeton universities, as well as in the Princeton community.
Diamond, who was born and raised in Winnipeg, Canada, was ordained in 1963 by the Jewish Theological Seminary of America. He was awarded a doctorate in comparative literature from Indiana University and was the author of many books.
“If I’ve touched lives and given some people an idea that Judaism is broad and deep and a source of great meaning, and that being a Jew is a great gift, then I’ve succeeded,” Diamond said of his work with Jewish students in an interview with the New Jersey Jewish News after announcing his retirement in 2003.