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Creating American Reform JudaismLife and Times of Isaac Mayer Wise$
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Sefton D. Temkin

Print publication date: 1998

Print ISBN-13: 9781874774457

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: February 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781874774457.001.0001

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Queen City of the West

Queen City of the West

1. Queen City of the West
Creating American Reform Judaism

Sefton D. Temkin

Liverpool University Press

This chapter shows the good relations cemented immediately upon his arrival at Congregation B’nai Jeshurun. In Cincinnati he remained for the rest of his days. In 1854, Cincinnati was in truth ‘the Queen City of the West’. In view of Cincinnati’s expansive prosperity, in view of its business relations with all parts of the United States, in view of its position as a meeting-place of merchants, it would be only natural for Wise to encounter a broader outlook than would exist in most congregations; for a man who harboured ‘bold plans’, plans which extended far beyond the confines of a single town, his position was ideal. From the start he seems to have impressed himself on the congregation. They accepted his ideas for reforms within the synagogue; they stood by him in the difficulties which his larger schemes involved; in forty-six years there were few disagreements, and only one serious incident — his candidature for the Ohio Senate during the Civil War — marred their relationship, and the speed with which it was passed over confirms that basically there was a happy association which neither party wished to endanger.

Keywords:   Cincinnati, B’nai Jeshurun, good relations, Civil War, business relations, rabbinical reforms, Ohio Senate, Cincinnati congregation

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