Rabbi A. David Packman is a native of Philadelphia. He received his undergraduate education at the University of Pennsylvania, where he majored in Middle Eastern Studies. He graduated in 1959 with honors and was awarded a Bachelor of Arts degree. He entered Hebrew Union College, the Reform Jewish Seminary in Cincinnati, in 1959. In 1961 he received a Bachelor of Hebrew Letters Degree. In 1964 he was ordained and received a Master of Arts degree with honors.
In 1964, Rabbi Packman entered the U.S. Air Force as a Chaplain, serving in Germany, France and Italy. At the same time he provided rabbinical services to various German and French civilian Jewish Communities. He was also the prison Chaplain for the U.S. Air Force in Europe.
After completing his tour of military duty in 1967, Rabbi Packman was accepted at the Ohio State University School of Social Work. In June of 1969, he was awarded the Master of Social Work degree. He was also the recipient of the Jerome I. Folkman Scholarship in Human Relations, which enabled him to attend the National Training Laboratory in Group Dynamics. In 1986, he was awarded a Doctor of Divinity degree, honoris causa, by Oklahoma City University. In 1989 he received a Doctor of Divinity degree, honoris causa, from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion.
Rabbi Packman was the spiritual leader of Temple B’nai Israel of Oklahoma City for twenty-eight years upon his retirement in June 2004. He was an adjunct faculty member of the School of Religion of Oklahoma City University, where he also served as University Jewish Chaplain. Formerly, he was an adjunct faculty member of Southern Nazarene University. Rabbi Packman currently is Rabbi Emeritus of Temple B’nai Israel, Oklahoma City. After retirement, he served Congregation B’nai Israel (Monroe, Louisiana) part time until December 2013.
Rabbi is past president of Planned Parenthood of Oklahoma City and past president of the Southwest association of Reform Rabbis. He is the past president of the Men’s Dinner Club, a Board member of the Jewish Federation of Oklahoma City, and past Vice-president of the National Conference of Christians and Jews of Oklahoma City. He has served on six governmental entities: as the Mayor’s representative to the City of Oklahoma City Neighborhood Initiative Commission, the Oklahoma State Martin Luther King Jr. Commission, the Health Research Committee of the Oklahoma Center for the Advancement of Science and Technology (OCAST), the State of Oklahoma Bio-Ethics Committee, the Murrah Federal Building Memorial Task Force, and the Work Force Development for Poverty Reduction Project. Formerly he has served on the Boards of the Oklahoma City Urban League, the Oklahoma Civil Liberties Union, the Institutional Review Board of Integris Medical Center, the Community Council of Central Oklahoma, the Downtown Rotary Club, Keep Oklahoma City Beautiful, the Oklahoma County Mental Health Association, the Oklahoma Symphony Orchestra, REST, the Northcare Community Mental Health Center, and the Central Conference of American Rabbis. He was also a member of the State of Oklahoma Bio-Ethics Committee, which drew up the legislation for the new law on Living Wills and Durable Power of Attorney in Health Matters. Currently he serves on the IACUC Committee of the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation.
For many years Rabbi Packman has been active in interfaith work. He has lectured at Cameron University, University of Central Oklahoma, St. Gregory’s College, Phillips University, Oklahoma Christian University, South Central Oklahoma State University, Oklahoma Baptist University, the University of Oklahoma, and Henderson State University (Arkansas.) He is currently a leader of interfaith coalitions that support Freedom of Choice; and an Oklahoma City Human Rights Ordinance. The Anti-Defamation League has sponsored Rabbi Packman as a delegate to its regional Jewish-Christian Dialogue, as well as the Southern Baptist-Jewish National Dialogue. In 1987 he was given the Brotherhood Award by the National Conference of Christians and Jews. In 1995 Rabbi was awarded The Human Rights Award from the Oklahoma Human Rights Commission. In 2003 he was recognized by the Interfaith Alliance by presenting him with their Human Service Award. Also in 2003 the NAACP of Oklahoma City presented him with their “Life Time Achievement Award.” He is also the reorganizer of Oklahoma’s most inclusive Thanksgiving Service, which embraces Catholics, Protestants, Jews, Bahai’s, Muslims, Hindus, Unitarians, and people of all races. Rabbi Packman is a founder and former treasurer of the non-profit Oklahoma Association for Health Ethics. He was also on the Advisory Board of Jesus House, & the Board of the Central Oklahoma Human Rights Alliance.
Rabbi Packman is married to the former Nina Josel of Philadelphia. She holds a degree of Master of Social Work and does social work in the hospice field. Their adult children are Keren Amy Alpert of Grosse Pointe Farms, Michigan, Kenan Jacob Packman of New York City, and Jana Ruth Greenblatt of Washington, D. C. He is also the grandfather of Margot, Lucy, and Alexandra Alpert, and Micah and Levi Greenblatt.