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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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7. Sunset
Creating American Reform Judaism

Sefton D. Temkin

Liverpool University Press

This chapter discusses the closing years of Isaac Mayer Wise’s life, which were spent in a mood of satisfaction. The structure for American Jewry which he had laboured to build had not been completed to his specifications, but the triad with which he was intimately connected — the Union of American Hebrew Congregations, Hebrew Union College, and the Central Conference of American Rabbis — had come near enough to achieving his object. As a national figure on the American Jewish scene he stood alone. (The rival seminary in New York was teetering on the brink of dissolution.) He had the satisfaction of seeing synagogues throughout the country led by his disciples, but if anything clouded the sunset, it was the future of the college. He had carried it on his own shoulders for well-nigh twenty-five years. It was short of funds, and he failed to see among the leaders of the Union the will to ensure that Hebrew Union College was adequately supported.

Keywords:   American Jewry, Union of American Hebrew Congregations, Hebrew Union College, Central Conference of American Rabbis, synagogues, death

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