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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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Congregation B’nai Jeshurun

Congregation B’nai Jeshurun

2. Congregation B’nai Jeshurun
Creating American Reform Judaism

Sefton D. Temkin

Liverpool University Press

This chapter shows that changes in the B’nai Jeshurun service did not lag far behind Isaac Mayer Wise’s arrival. First he set about introducing a choir, which had been attempted before but without lasting success. Overcoming the doubts of the president, Wise persisted, and when the trustees met in 1854, a letter from Wise was read announcing that the choir, twenty-five in number, would be ready to take part in the service on the ensuing Friday evening. The repertoire was taken from Sulzer and Naumbourg. He went on to suggest a number of liturgical modifications. With one exception (the omission of the talmudic passage Bameh madlikin, dealing with the laws of the Sabbath lamp), these affected style rather than content.

Keywords:   B’nai Jeshurun, rabbinic reforms, liturgical modifications, choir, ministry

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