Judaism & the American Jew: Selected Sermons & Addresses

Judaism & the American Jew: Selected Sermons & Addresses

Judaism & the American Jew: Selected Sermons & Addresses

Judaism & the American Jew: Selected Sermons & Addresses

Excerpt

There are privileges which only a long life can offer. If I may be permitted to make these introductory pages, which I have been honored by the invitation to write, very personal, one of the rare privileges which has come to me is that of knowing and counting as friend all but the first of the rabbis of the Temple Emanu-El in the long one hundred years of its history. Nearly sixty years ago when I was giving a small part of my time to teaching at Stanford, Rabbi Voorsanger came down regularly to lecture on the Old Testament. It was an inspiration to hear him and an honor when he took into the wide circle of his friends this young and new Californian who happened to know something of what biblical scholarship was doing. Of what Rabbi Voorsanger did for San Francisco I need not speak. The memory of his contribution lives among us. And that is true of his successors Rabbi Meyer and Rabbi Newman. Each was a significant figure in the life of the city, and I was happy to count each as friend and to cooperate with them in many ways.

In 1930 Rabbi Reichert came and it was immediately clear that he too would carry on the distinguished service rendered by his predecessors. San Francisco looked to him with confidence and was not disappointed. By untiring effort, by the spoken word and the unspoken example he took his place among the leaders of the community. It is unnecessary here to enumerate the varied and important services which he rendered. He brought with him the fruits of hard work at the Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, at Columbia University and during his years in the active ministry. Settled among us he gave unstinted effort to civic organizations like the Community Chest and the Council for Civic Unity. He served on the local boards of such groups as the American Civil Liberties Union. During the last war he was called on for help in the National Labor Relations Board, in the arbitration of labor troubles, in the organizing and development of the World Affairs Council and the like, and during all this period was in demand here and elsewhere as a speaker. We who have worked with him in so many . . .

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