Jewish Hero in South Carolina

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There’s an amazing column in the National Review Online about a man I’m proud to learn of: retiring chief of the Charleston, South Carolina police department, Reuben Greenberg. The article is subtitled “How a black, Jewish Texan cleaned up an old Confederate city.” It discusses the changes Greenberg instituted to turn around crime rates in the city, and it also points to how Jews “come in all different colors from all over the world.” A child of intermarriage, Reuben Greenberg is clearly a strongly identified Jew and sounds like a remarkable person in general.

This photo is by renowned photographer Bill Aron and is part of an interesting traveling exhibition called “…A Portion of the People: Three Hundred Years of Southern Jewish Life” from the Jewish Heritage Collection of the College of Charleston’s library.


  1. I knew Reuben Greenberg many years ago when I worked as an officer for Charleston P.D. I never new a more opinionated and self centered officer, let alone a man in charge as he was.

    He would literally stand on a street corner “screaming” at an officer (spit flying out of his mouth) because he (Greenberg) didn’t like the way the officer did something.

    He might be a “good” Jew, but I know a lot of officers he physiologically tortured while he was in charge. I will admit I never knew him outside of the department and he “may” be a good man also, but you should know the whole store before you praise him.

    Comment by Joe — July 21, 2006 @ 1:32 am

  2. I’m sorry to hear about your bad experience. I’ve never met Reuben Greenberg. I tried to make that clear by saying “I’m proud TO LEARN OF” and that he “SOUNDS LIKE” a remarkable person. The article about him is very flattering and my blog post reflects that. Obviously, because I don’t know him I don’t have an opinion about him as a person; My point was mainly that (a) Jews come in all colors, and (b) children of intermarriage are capable of strong Jewish identities, and here’s an example.

    Comment by Paul Golin, Associate Executive Director — July 21, 2006 @ 8:53 am

  3. I just read the comment from Joe, you sound as if you got chewed out yourself for something stupid you did, I also worked for Chief Greenberg, got yelled at like everyone else, but you learn after it, and don’t make the same stupid mistake again after the chewing out..Once he knew who the butt kissers were, he stayed on their case even more, he was a very effective, yes harsh at times, but no one was exempt from it no matter what position they held.If he was so awful as a leader, why did he get asked to go straighten out a major police dept in Texas while at CPD? because he was excellent at his job..After I left because of moving to NC not because of being fired, I realized how much I learned from him and his ways of running the dept.He toughened up the people that needed it.

    Comment by Beth — November 15, 2006 @ 10:57 am

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