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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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Duties Old and New

Duties Old and New

1. Duties Old and New
Creating American Reform Judaism

Sefton D. Temkin

Liverpool University Press

This chapter describes Isaac Mayer Wise’s further struggles after his latest milestone at Hebrew Union College. If not before, when the glow of this ceremony had faded, Wise may have realized that his was the task to trudge on, now with one more burden on his shoulders. He was 56; he had fought his way upwards despite all the opposition of inferior beings, but the plateau he had reached was still not the summit. Over and above his duties to his congregation and his two weekly newspapers, he had to make Hebrew Union College mean something, lest the predictions of his enemies be confirmed and the presidency which had been vested in him with all the external marks of confidence was to go down as an empty and ephemeral title, with no more significance in the life of American Jewry than that of the other institutions which he had vainly attempted to bring to life. Apart from these tasks, during the remaining quarter-century of his life Wise continued to travel and lecture, now being more in demand on account of his new office, and he added several books to his list of publications.

Keywords:   Hebrew Union College, college presidency, American Jewry, old age, Jewish publications

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