Author Biographical Info

Samuel Egal Karff was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on September 19, 1931. He graduated from Harvard University. He served as rabbi for Houston's Beth Israel congregation from 1974 to 1999. After his retirement from Beth Israel, he founded the Texas Medical Center's Health and Human Spirit Program, the forerunner of the McGovern Medical School's Center for Humanities and Ethics. He also lectured for Rice University's Department of Religion for twenty-two years. He was a longtime advocate for civil rights, social justice, and equality, and is honored at Interfaith Ministries for Great Houston's Brigitte and Bashar Kalai's Plaza of Respect, alongside Reverend William Lawson and Archbishop Joseph Fiorenza. Karff died on August 14, 2020.


MS 229

Publication Date(s)

October 2020




Religion and medicine, Spirituality, Pastoral care, Houston (TX), Dallas (TX), Samuel Karff, Thomas R. Cole, reprints, notes (documents), correspondence, manuscripts (documents), Questionnaires, questionnaires, clippings (information artifacts), interviews, manuals (instructional materials)


The Rabbi Samuel Karff papers contains papers and binders related to Rabbi Karff's work in the Sacred Vocation program at the UT Medical School McGovern Center for Humanities and Ethics. More details about the materials will be documented after initial processing and rehousing. The collection includes newspaper and magazine clippings, reprints, handwritten notes, lecture and talk manuscripts, correspondence; interviews, questionnaires, curricula, and reprints. See more at MS 229.


Dr. Thomas Cole delivered boxes to the archive on September 25, 2020. Five boxes worth of materials (papers and binders) in various non-standard boxes and containers. Dr. Thomas Cole packed the materials from the office of Rabbi Samuel Karff at UT Medical School and delivered to archive.



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