Ernest S. Frerichs, renowned scholar of the Hebrew Bible and Biblical interpretation, passed away on November 11, 2013, at the age of 88. From 1943 to 1946, he served in the U.S. Army in Europe during World War II, for which he was awarded the Combat Infantryman’s Badge and the Bronze Star Medal for his participation in the Battle of the Vosges Mountains in eastern France.
Dr. Frerichs subsequently earned an A.B. from Brown University in 1948, an A.M. in government from Harvard University in 1949, an S.T.B. from Boston University in 1952 and a Ph.D. in Hebrew Bible from Boston University in 1957. He was appointed a trustee of the Albright Institute in 1974 and served as the institute’s president from 1976 to 1982. In 1995, he became the executive director and president of the Dorot Foundation, a family foundation with a long history in Jewish higher education. In this position, Frerichs succeeded the legendary archaeological philanthropist Joy Ungerleider-Mayerson, who established the foundation in 1972 and served as its president until her death in 1994. Dr. Frerichs coedited or authored 16 books and numerous articles, and for 13 seasons he acted as the national director of volunteer and consortium relationships for the Tel Miqne-Ekron Excavation and Publication Project. In 1998, his contributions to the field were celebrated in the festschrift Hesed ve-Emet: Studies in Honor of Ernest S. Frerichs, edited by Jodi Magness and Seymour Gitin (Atlanta: Scholars Press), which contained essays by his students, friends and colleagues.