A voice that spoke for justice: the life and times of by Melvin I. Urofsky

By Melvin I. Urofsky

Within the first 1/2 this century, a skilled and charismatic management restructured the yank Jewish group to satisfy the calls for and possibilities of a pluralistic, secular society. The paintings of this iteration of titans nonetheless courses the present modes of yank Jewish existence. The final of those giants used to be the influential reformer Stephen S. Wise--a progenitor of yankee Zionism, writer of the yankee and international Jewish Congresses, and founding father of the Jewish Institute of faith. As rabbi of the unfastened Synagogue, clever led the struggle for a residing Judaism aware of social problems.

This engrossing research is greater than a chronicle of an ethnic community's adjustment to a bunch society. because of Melvin Urofsky's painstaking study, it succeeds in revealing the genuine tale at the back of a mythical and arguable determine in American Jewish historical past.

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Extra info for A voice that spoke for justice: the life and times of Stephen S. Wise

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At worst, he stands guilty of poor scholarship, but not of fraud. The question of Wise's scholarly ability, however, is even more muddied. 37 But his name also appears as the translator of the Book of Judges in the 1917 Jewish Publication Society edition of the Bible. At the turn of the century the Society decided to publish an entirely new English translation of the Old Testament which would be free of the Christian biases inherent in the King James and other English versions of the Holy Writ.

This generation of titans is now gone, but their work still guides the current modes of American Jewish life. Among them none articulated the belief that the destinies of the Jewish people and of the United States were inextricably interwined as did Stephen Samuel Wise. A progenitor of American Zionism, creator of the American and World Jewish Congresses, founder of the Jewish Institute of Religion and, above all rabbi of the Free Synagogue, Wise carved a unique niche for himself at the interface of Jewish communal affairs and those of the broader society.

Then in November, a formal invitation arrived to preach in the Rodeph Sholom pulpit on December 4. Wise knew that if he wanted it, the position could be his, and he was sorely tempted. " 42 Wise recognized that while there might be a short-term satisfaction in succeeding to his father's place, in the long run the disadvantages would outweigh the benefits. He would be seen as "Aaron's boy" for years to come, his every word and action compared to what his father might have said or done. At B'nai Jeshurun, or wherever else he might go, he would be the rabbi; at Rodeph Sholom the shadow of his father would always be there behind him.

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