By Melvin I. Urofsky
Within the first half this century, a skilled and charismatic management restructured the yankee Jewish neighborhood to fulfill the calls for and possibilities of a pluralistic, secular society. The paintings of this new release of titans nonetheless courses the present modes of yankee Jewish existence. The final of those giants was once the influential reformer Stephen S. Wise--a progenitor of yankee Zionism, author of the yankee and international Jewish Congresses, and founding father of the Jewish Institute of faith. As rabbi of the loose Synagogue, clever led the struggle for a residing Judaism attentive to social problems.
This engrossing research is greater than a chronicle of an ethnic community's adjustment to a number society. because of Melvin Urofsky's painstaking examine, it succeeds in revealing the genuine tale in the back of a mythical and debatable determine in American Jewish historical past.
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Extra resources for A voice that spoke for justice: the life and times of Stephen S. Wise
Ironically, gentile friends came to his rescue when he was in difficulty with the Jewish community of Erlau and again when he faced civil charges of sedition. Shortly after Weisz's appointment as chief rabbi of Erlau in 1840, currents of change swept through many of the synagogues of Hungary. Inspired by the liberalizing movement in Germany, religious reformers in Hungary wanted to modernize many of the traditional Jewish rituals and do away with ancient laws and customs that they considered archaic and irrelevant.
A secondary body of Wise materials is in the American Jewish Archives, and Mrs. Fannie Zelcer made my trips there both profitable and enjoyable. Mrs. Sylvia Landress, head of the Zionist Archives and Library, and her assistants, Esther Togman and Rebecca Sherman, have been so helpful to me over the last several years that my debt can never be repaid. My thanks also go to Dr. William Emerson and his staff at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library, Mrs. Miriam Leikind of the Abba Hillel Silver Archives, and the many people who make the Manuscript Division of the Library of Congress absolutely the finest research library in the world.
Among those who shared their memories of Stephen Wise, I would like to thank Gertrude Adelstein, Rabbi Morton M. Berman, the Hon. Eliahu Elath, Dr. Nahum Goldmann, Rabbi Israel Goldstein, Dr. Alfred Gottschalk, Professor Milton Handler, Rabbi Edward Klien, the Hon. Moshe Kol, the Hon. Arthur Lourie, Rabbi Meyer Passow, Dr. Gerhardt Reigner, Dr. Arya Tartakower, and Mr. Jacques Torczyner. I was also fortunate to interview before their deaths Mrs. Rose Halprin, Rabbi Edward I. Kiev, the Hon. Louis Levinthal, the Hon.