Orthodox Judaism in America: A Biographical Dictionary and Sourcebook

Orthodox Judaism in America: A Biographical Dictionary and Sourcebook

Orthodox Judaism in America: A Biographical Dictionary and Sourcebook

Orthodox Judaism in America: A Biographical Dictionary and Sourcebook

Synopsis

The last in a series of three volumes edited by Marc Lee Raphael surveying some of the major rabbinic and lay personalities who have shaped Judaism in America for the past two centuries, this work focuses on Orthodox Judaism. Along with a basic description of the achievements of some of the most notable leaders, a bibliography of their writings and sources for further study is included as well as an essay on Orthodox rabbinic organizations and a survey of American Orthodox periodicals. Of interest to scholars, students, and lay persons alike, this volume will inform readers about the earliest communities of Jews who settled in America as they developed the institutions of Orthodox Jewish life and set a public standard of compliance with Jewish law.

Excerpt

This book is the last in a series of three volumes edited by Professor Marc Lee Raphael surveying some of the major rabbinic and lay personalities who have shaped Judaism in America for the past two centuries. Intended as a reference work, Orthodox Judaism in America: A Biographical Dictionary and Sourcebook will assist both the lay reader and scholars in the preparation of their research on Orthodox Jewish life in America. Along with a basic description of the achievements of some American Orthodox Jewish leaders, a bibliography of their writings, and sources for further study, this volume includes an essay on Orthodox rabbinic organizations and a survey of American Orthodox periodicals.

The task of choosing biographies to include in this collection was very difficult. While the book is not a comprehensive collection of distinguished American Orthodox leaders, nor is it a list of the leading 120 Talmud scholars in American Jewish history, it is a representative sample of some of the many rabbis, educators, and philanthropists who have made contributions to American Jewish life in general and Orthodox Judaism in particular.

A further difficulty pertains to the accuracy of some of the information used in these biographical studies, since both primary and secondary sources were often in conflict with one another. Archival material, newspaper and magazine obituaries, Asher Rand Toldoth Anshe Shem, Ben Zion Eisenstadt Chachmei Yisrael b'America, and other material suggested different dates of birth and emigration from Europe to the United States and varying names of mentors and synagogues served in America. To resolve these conflicts, a balanced judgment has been made based on a wide selection of sources.

Regarding periodization, the book includes rabbis, preachers, and ministers who served communities during the nineteenth century as well as rabbis, rosh yeshivas, and laymen who have made their mark in recent times. Only Orthodox leaders who are no longer alive were considered for inclusion in this book. For . . .

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