By Melvin I. Urofsky
Within the first 1/2 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 iteration of titans nonetheless publications the present modes of yankee Jewish existence. The final of those giants used to be the influential reformer Stephen S. Wise--a progenitor of yank Zionism, writer of the yank and global Jewish Congresses, and founding father of the Jewish Institute of faith. As rabbi of the loose Synagogue, clever led the struggle for a dwelling Judaism aware of social problems.
This engrossing learn is greater than a chronicle of an ethnic community's adjustment to a number society. due to Melvin Urofsky's painstaking study, it succeeds in revealing the real tale in the back of a mythical and arguable 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
For them the true church did not reside in a cathedral but in the shops and factories and markets where people lived and labored. " It was Davidson who urged Wise to remember that "Judaism like all living things changes as it grows; that while the letter killeth the spirit keepeth alive. "21 That summer passed quickly and happily for Wise, and laid the basis for his close relationship with Davidson until the latter's death in 1900. The Adirondack air proved as beneficial for his body as Davidson's lectures had been for his mind, and his family marveled at his vigor and robustness.
He performed his first wedding, the first of thousands, on September 6, 1893. He helped the women of the congregation organize a Sisterhood, with the task of providing relief for some of the destitute during that harsh depression winter. In order to encourage young adults to participate in synagogue activities, Wise took the lead in founding a "Society for Religious Study" in December 1893, which in the years to follow heard a variety of Jewish scholars and communal leaders talk on topics of interest.
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.
A voice that spoke for justice: the life and times of Stephen S. Wise by Melvin I. Urofsky