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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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First Fruits in Cincinnati

First Fruits in Cincinnati

(p.190) 14. First Fruits in Cincinnati
Creating American Reform Judaism

Sefton D. Temkin

Liverpool University Press

This chapter shows Isaac Mayer Wise’s activities in the post-bellum era. His first thought was for matters of immediate congregational interest and prestige. As early as 1860, Wise’s own congregation had found the Lodge Street synagogue inadequate. The war postponed efforts to build a new house of worship, but in 1863 a site was bought at the corner of Plum and Eighth Streets, and building started two years later. In 1866, the Plum Street temple was dedicated. Wise used the occasion of his dedication sermon to expound ‘the leading points of American Judaism, the new school in Judaism’. The consecration of a new temple was one of the extraordinary occasions of a rabbi’s career. The chapter considers how Wise acquitted himself under workaday conditions and what impression he gave.

Keywords:   post-bellum era, Plum Street temple, American Judaism, consecration, Cincinnati, dedication sermon, synagogues

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