Joseph H. Lerner, father of Rabbi Michael Lerner of Berkeley-based Beyt Tikkun and Tikkun magazine, died Nov. 22 in Sunny Isles, Fla. He was 94.
Joseph Lerner made his living as a lawyer and judge, but was also a national Jewish communal leader. He served as national vice president of the Zionist Organization of America and was a board member of the World Jewish Congress and the Anti-Defamation League. In 1947, he traveled to pre-state Israel with the ZOA on a mission to secure statehood for Israel.
He was one of five children. His father, Rabbi Abraham Lerner, was a member of the Btatslaver Chassidim and believed to be a direct descendent of the Baal Shem Tov, founder of the Chassidic movement.
After the death of his wife of 49 years, Beatrice Lerner, Joseph Lerner married Joyce Roman and moved from his family home in South Orange, N.J., to her home in Sunny Isles, Fla.
He is survived by son Rabbi Michael Lerner of Berkeley; daughter Trish Vradenburg of Washington, D.C.; grandchildren Alissa Vradenburg of Los Angeles, Akiba Lerner of San Francisco and Tyler Vradenburg of Chicago; and great-grandchildren Ellie and Jeremiah Lerner, Maxine and Gavin Vradenburg. and Harrison Sheresky.
The funeral was held Nov. 25 at Home of Eternity cemetery in Oakland.
Donations in memory of Joseph Lerner can be made to Tikkun magazine and mailed to Tikkun, 2342 Shattuck Ave., No. 1200, Berkeley, CA 94704.