October 02, 2009

Herman Stein Leaves Social Work Legacy for Generations to Come


A long list of accolades describes Dr. Herman D. Stein, former dean of the Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences and university provost and vice president. He will be remembered for his integrity, dignity, loyalty, friendship, and warmth and caring.

After a long illness and surrounded by family, he died early this morning at his Shaker Heights home. He was 92.

Considered a social work luminary, Dr. Stein's work changed the face of international social welfare, says MSASS Dean Grover "Cleve" Gilmore.

Dr. Stein served as dean from 1964 to 1969 and was the John Reynolds Harkness Professor Emeritus of Social Administration. From 1969 to 1972 he was Provost and University Vice President, after which he was named to the rank of University Professor. He retired in 1990.

According to Gilmore, Dr. Stein leaves a number of pioneering achievements in the field of social work as his legacy in social work history. His first major contribution took place at the age of 30. He left a promising career at Columbia University School of Social Work in 1947 to join the European Staff of the American Joint Distribution Committee (AJDC) in its massive efforts to provide care for the devastated survivors of the Holocaust. As director of its Welfare Department in Paris Headquarters, Dr. Stein initiated and coordinated services in Europe and North Africa.

Scott Cowen, president of Tulane University, former dean of the Weatherhead School of Management and one of many campus administrators who benefitted from Dr. Stein's mentoring, describes Herman Stein as "a giant of a man."

"He had a great intellect, a warm heart, and a passion for community building and alleviating suffering in the world," says Cowen. "I learned how to be an academic administrator when Herman was Provost and I was a newly appointed Dean."

Another legacy is his work as a prime mover in the formation of a School of Social Work in Versailles, later re-established as the Paul Baerwald School of Social Work in the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

A pioneer of social work profession and a highly regarded social work educator, Dr. Stein was the President of the Council of Social Work Education from 1966-69, and the International Association of Schools of Social Work (IASSW) from 1968-76. He was a visiting faculty member at the Smith College School of Social Work and University of Hawaii, and was twice a Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University. His authored, co-authored or co-edited several books and over a hundred scholarly articles. He also served on committees and boards of several other organizations including International Council of Social Welfare, National Association of Social Workers, National Academy of Sciences, National Institute of Mental Health and U.S. Welfare Administration.

His work received numerous recognitions. Dr. Stein was the recipient of honorary doctorates from the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York and Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, several international awards including the Rene Sand Award of the International Council of Social Welfare, the Dorothy Humel Hovorka Prize from Case Western Reserve University, and the Katherine Kendal Award of the IASSW. His pioneering work is featured in several publications. Case Western Reserve instituted an Annual Lecture in International Social Welfare in his honor.

Survivors include his brother Joseph Stein of New York, playwright of "Fiddler on the Roof" and other works for the musical stage; daughters Naomi Stein of Shaker Heights, Shoshana Bennett of California, and Karen (Mark) Gelender of California; and five grandchildren. His wife Charmion died in 2001.

Services are private and handled by Berkowitz-Kumin in Cleveland Heights. A memorial service will be scheduled in the weeks to come on the Case Western Reserve University campus, after which the family will receive visitors.

For more information contact Susan Griffith, 216.368.1004.

Posted by: Kimyette Finley, October 2, 2009 02:42 PM | News Topics: Faculty, Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences, Provost Initiatives, news

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