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By Melvin I. Urofsky

Within the first half this century, a skilled and charismatic management restructured the yank Jewish group to fulfill the calls for and possibilities of a pluralistic, secular society. The paintings of this new release of titans nonetheless publications the present modes of yank 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 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 aware of 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 learn, it succeeds in revealing the real 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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34 Wise's schedule that summer sounds all too familiar to those who have at one time or another taken a doctoratelong hours poring over obscure and at times illegible texts, working until the early hours of the morning or until thrown out of the library so that the staff could go home, trying to master an endless list of books relating either directly or indirectly to the thesis. By the end of August, as he prepared to leave England, he could report that despite all these difficulties, much had been accomplished.

In the years since then, they have been continuously helpful and informative, answering numerous questions, digging up old letters and photographs, and arranging interviews with men and women who had known or worked with Wise. Both read the first draft of the manuscript, and made many helpful suggestions, but they insisted from the start that I alone would have final say over content and interpretation. I will be eternally grateful to them not only for their help, but for their determination that filial piety had no place in a scholarly biography.

Moreover, much of the responsiblity of supporting his mother and younger siblings now fell on his shoulder; his older brother, Otto, now a lawyer in California, contributed to the financial needs, but Stephen had to deal with the daily problems. There was, however, the satisfaction that his father had seen him ordained and established in a pulpit of his own, thus carrying on the family tradition. "41 Shortly after Aaron Wise's death, a number of congregants from Rodeph Page 16 Sholom began attending services at B'nai Jeshurun and intimating that they would like to see the son take his father's place.

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