Peter Gabel died of a heart attack on Tuesday, October 25th, 2022

Peter Gabel | Photo by Kathy Voutyras, close friend and colleague

Jan. 22nd @ 1 pm (PT) – Memorial Celebration of Peter Gabel’s Life (Unitarian Church in San Francisco & Online)

As a founding editor of Tikkun, long-term president of New College of California, and author most recently of The Desire for Mutual Recognition: Social Movements and the Dissolution of the False Self, Gabel was a constant source of inspiration to tens of thousands of Tikkun readers. 

Rabbi Lerner and Peter Gabel discovered each other in 1975 at the Wright Institute where each of them was pursuing a second Ph.D. in social and clinical psychology. Both had been part of the social change movement of the 60s and had concluded that those movements needed to recognize a set of needs that could not be reduced to material or economic deprivation. Eventually, over the course of their friendship and after completing their psychology degrees, they created the Institute for Labor and Mental Health (ILMH) and years later created Tikkun magazine, the Network of Spiritual Progressives (NSP), and Beyt Tikkun: Progressive Synagogue Without Walls (in San Francisco and later in Berkeley, CA). In addition, Peter Gabel co-developed the Project for Integrating Spirituality, Law and Politics (PISLAP). He founded the Arlene Francis Center for Spirit, Art, and Politics in Santa Rosa, CA and he was the prime energy behind the Noe Valley Farmers Market. 

While taking different paths, their key messages remained deeply aligned. They talked of a hunger for a life of meaning and higher purpose, a need for mutual recognition and a caring society (sometimes briefly referred to as ‘a Politics of Meaning). At times Peter said that the ideas we at Tikkun were espousing were in essence core beliefs of his mother, Arlene Francis (who was, in the 1950s and 1960s, one of the most beloved people on TV in the U.S.). For Peter and Michael, these ideas are progressive and transformative to  the extent that they seek to replace selfishness, capitalism, and nationalism with a world based on empathy, love, and environmental responsibility – caring for each other and caring for the planet (including all its people and animals). 

Peter Gabel is survived by his life-long partner Lisa Jaicks, who has spent much of her life working with the Labor Movement and defending workers facing abuse, and by their son Sam, a musician and artist. 

For us at Tikkun and Beyt Tikkun the loss seems overwhelming. Peter’s untimely and shocking death is already being mourned around the world. The family feels deeply moved by that outpouring of love and care and has decided to postpone a public memorial for a month or longer till they can arrange for a time that can include Peter’s supporters from around the US. 

Here’s the Shiva that was held in Peter Gabel’s honor on October 30th, 2022


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