In Memoriam: Professor Emeritus Robert Perlman

September 22, 2012

Professor Emeritus Robert Perlman passed away early today, Friday, September 21, 2012. Professor Perlman was part of the first pioneering and rather feisty class that graduated from the Heller School.  After establishing Action for Boston Community Development (ABCD) in the early 1960s, he returned to the faculty at Heller where he taught until his retirement in 1982.

An expert on social planning and community organization, he authored numerous books and articles, including Neighborhood Service Centers (1967, with David Jones), Community Organization  and Social Planning (1972, with Arnold Gurin), Consumers and Social Services in 1975, Families in the Energy Crisis (1977, with Roland Warren), and Family Home Care: Critical Issues for Services and Policies (1983).  After "retirement" he continued his scholarship by going back to his family's roots and writing two books on the challenges facing Hungarian-American-Jewish immigrant families at the turn of the century.  This was published in the following two works:  Bridging Three Worlds: Hungarian Jewish-Americans, 1848-1914 (1991), and From Shtetl to Milltown: Litvaks, Hungarians, and Galizianers In Western Pennsylvania, 1875-1925 (2001).

Professor Perlman epitomized in many ways the original vision of Heller's first Dean Charles Schottland and founding Brandeis President Abe Sachar to create a school that would bring together students and faculty in a new model of scholarly and leadership development to advance the field of social policy.  

Funeral services will be held at Stanetsky Memorial Chapel, 1668 Beacon Street, Brookline, on Sunday, September 23 at noon.  There will be a shiva at the home he shared with his wife of 65 years (Bernice) at 125 Lincoln Street, Newton, MA 02461 on Monday, September 24 from 4pm until 7pm. 

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