Wise, Stephen Samuel

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.

Wise, Stephen Samuel

Stephen Samuel Wise, 1874–1949, American Reform rabbi and Zionist leader, b. Budapest, grad. College of the City of New York, 1891, Ph.D. Columbia, 1901. He served as a rabbi in New York City (1893–1900) and in Portland, Oreg. (1900–1906). Returning to New York, he founded (1907) the Free Synagogue, of which he was rabbi until his death. Wise worked for labor reforms, world peace, alleviation of the problems of the Jewish minorities in Europe, and relief for refugees. He was one of the foremost leaders of Zionism and Reform Judaism. Among the many organizations in which he was active were the American Jewish Congress, the World Jewish Congress, and the Zionist Organization of America. He founded (1922) the Jewish Institute of Religion for the training of a modern rabbinate and of Jewish educators and community workers. His writings include The Great Betrayal (with Jacob De Haas, 1930), As I See It (1944), and his autobiography, Challenging Years (1949).

See his personal letters (ed. by his children, J. W. Wise and J. W. Polier, 1956).

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