Organizations & Institutions

Mikveh Israel’s burial ground – Philadelphia, 1740

Image of the inside of Mikveh Israel, including central bima, ark, and separated, gender-based seating on different levels.

Although Mikveh Israel, Philadelphia’s first synagogue, was not founded until 1782, the land for its cemetery has an earlier history. A burial plot was first bought by Nathan Levy in 1738 when he suddenly needed a burial place for one of his children, and land was made available to him by Thomas Penn, the son…

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Jacob Rader Marcus (1896-1995): the “Dean” of American Jewish historians

Photo collage of Jacob Rader Marcus.

Jacob Rader Marcus, the founder of the American Jewish Archives (AJA), was born in Connelsville, PA on March 5, 1896. Known as the “Dean” of American Jewish historians, Dr. Marcus was the first American born, scientifically trained historian to earn an academic Ph.D. to examine the American Jewish experience. . In 1947—with the great centers…

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The Life, Work and Lasting Impact of R. Isaac Mayer Wise (Video)

Photograph of Rabbi Isaac M. Wise retrieved from a scrapbook compiled of his life and death. The image is attached the the paper and covered with dried leaves and flowers.

The Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives has produced a 10-minute video illuminating the life, work and lasting impact of Rabbi Isaac Mayer Wise—the pioneering architect of American Reform Judaism. It was created in commemoration of the bicentennial of Rabbi Wise’s birth. This program can be used to teach teens, young adult…

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Jewish Roots of the Pulitzer Prize

Collage including black and white photograph of Joseph Pulitzer, two medals, and his autograph

Born in Makó, Hungary on April 10, 1847 to two Jewish parents, Joseph Pulitzer emigrated to the U.S. in 1864 to fight in the Civil War. After moving to St. Louis, Joseph became a naturalized citizen in 1867, passed the bar, served in the state legislature, and began reporting for the Westliche Post. He bought…

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KAUFMANN KOHLER (1843- 1926)

Black and white photograph of Kaufmann Kohler.

In 1903, after a lengthy search for a suitable replacement for Isaac M. Wise, Kaufmann Kohler was invited to interview for the presidency of HUC. He was unanimously approved by the HUC board and accepted the position, which he retained until his retirement in 1921. His presidency included many significant accomplishments: the restructuring of the…

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Letter From Shimon Peres to HUC-JIR Concerning the Assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin

Letter from Shimon Peres to HUC-JIR concerning the assassination of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin.

In 1995, the Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated by an Israeli ultra-nationalist. The assassination happened at the peak of an anti-violence rally in support of the Oslo peace process, an attempt to create a framework for finding a solution to the ongoing Israel-Palestine conflict. Rabin, his successor, Shimon Peres, and Palestine Liberation Organization…

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ONE OF THE OLDEST MENTORING ORGANIZATIONS IN AMERICA

Two images of young men at "Play Day," Eden Park, Aug. 26, 1926.

We take a moment to highlight the Big Brothers/Big Sisters Association of Cincinnati. This association, founded in 1910, was a charter member for what would later become Big Brothers/Big Sisters of America. The organization dates back to 1903 when Irvin F. Westheimer, an American Jewish Businessman from Cincinnati, befriended a fatherless child and decided to…

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RABBI FRANKLIN AND HIS THANKSGIVING SERVICE

Black and white image of Rabbi Franklin sitting with young students.

The Interdenominational Community Thanksgiving Service was founded in 1902 by Dr. Leo M. Franklin, Rabbi of Temple Beth El in Detroit, Michigan from 1899-1941. The first service, called “A Citizens’ Interdenominational Thanksgiving Service”, was held on November 27, 1902, in the Detroit Opera House. An account in the Detroit News stated that a capacity crowd…

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“Too Early to Intervene”: Rabbi Stephen Wise and President Franklin D. Roosevelt

Stephen S. Wise sitting in his study

Rabbi Steven Wise was born in Budapest, Hungary, in 1874, before immigrating with his family (as an infant) to New York. He grew into one of the most renowned American Reform rabbis and Zionist leaders of the 20th-century. In 1922, Wise founded the Jewish Institute of Religion. He was also a founding member of the…

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