With the sudden passing of social activist Sam Goldberger of West Hartford on June 9th advocates of peace and economic justice in Greater Hartford lost a local hero who traveled the world for the causes he believed in and gave generously of his time and resources for them.
Goldberger, a graduate of Yale ’64 and Columbia where he earned a Ph.D. in Central European History, probably could have pursued academics behind Ivy walls. Instead, he returned to Connecticut to teach at Capital Community College for 33 years. He also became a campus leader in his faculty union, the Congress of Connecticut Community Colleges. It would be a good guess that Sam’s activism and immigrant roots in Bridgeport led him to a community college where working people and first generation college goers get a chance to move up the education ladder. Through the years he shared his passion for intellectual inquiry with his students and gave of his time generously advising student groups.
Sam was a member of the West Hartford Democratic Town Committee and, as the saying goes, was in good standing with the “Democratic wing of the Democratic Party.”
He participated in We Refuse To Be Enemies — a group of Jews and Muslims who talked peace and understanding amid Mideast turmoil and border disputes. Every peace and progressive organization in Greater Hartford probably benefited from Sam’s involvement.
Just recently he was exhorting friends to contribute to Bethlehem University of the Holy Land, a Catholic, co-educational institution of higher learning established in 1973 to meet the needs of the Palestinian society that is open to people of all faiths.
Said fellow West Hartford Democrats Carol and Win Heimer: “Pardon the cliche, but Sam had a heart as big as all outdoors. He was kind, compassionate and a true humanist. We are privileged to have known him as a labor activist, Democratic Town Committee Member, and advocate for peace and justice here and in the Middle East.”