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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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Sustaining the College (1875–1883)

Sustaining the College (1875–1883)

Chapter:
3. Sustaining the College (1875–1883)
Source:
Creating American Reform Judaism
Author(s):

Sefton D. Temkin

Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:10.3828/liverpool/9781874774457.003.0044

This chapter discusses Isaac Mayer Wise’s attempts to keep his college in operation. In a sense, the Hebrew Union College, like Minhag America, was a vestige of a more comprehensive scheme. The all-embracing synod, which would legislate for American Judaism and authorize an official prayer-book as well as an official seminary for training rabbis, had been laid on one side. From time to time Wise still tried to raise the wind in its favour, but he found no support. The union, as established in 1873, was a deliberately circumscribed body, both as to the scope of its powers and as to the area of its membership. Wise’s presence was felt, but in the wings rather than the centre of the stage. The college itself, limited to the preparatory department of a rabbinical school, was only a first instalment of the comprehensive institution Wise had planned. If, as his critics charged, Wise was bent on becoming a ‘western pope’, being given the presidency of Hebrew Union College was hardly a coronation.

Keywords:   Hebrew Union College, American Judaism, rabbinical school, college presidency, prayer-book, rabbinic education

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