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Judaism of the Social Question, Henry Berkowitz, New York 1888

Only Edition

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  • Starting Bid: $25.00
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  • Lot Number 53124
  • Title (English) Judaism of the Social Question
  • Note Only Edition
  • Author Henry Berkowitz
  • City New York
  • Publisher John B. Alden
  • Publication Date 1888
  • Estimated Price - Low 200
  • Estimated Price - High 500

  • Item # 2313792
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Physical Description

Only edition. 130 pp., octavo, 185:105 mm., usual age staining, nice margins. A good copy bound in the original cloth over boards, rubbed.

Detail Description

Rabbi Henry Berkowitz (1857–1924) was a Reform rabbi, educator and author. He was born in Pittsburgh in 1857, the son of Louis and Henrietta (Jaroslawski) Berkowitz, both born and married in Prussia and immigrated to United States in 1847 on the ship Corvo from Hamburg.After graduation from the Central High School of Pittsburgh in 1872 he attended Cornell University because he wanted to be a lawyer. Berkowitz decided to become a Reform rabbi because he heard a sermon by Isaac Mayer Wise and enrolled at the new Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion founded by him, where he graduated in 1883 in the first class. He also graduated at the University of Cincinnati in the same year. In 1887 he received the D.D. degree from the Hebrew Union College.

Berkowitz served from 1883 to 1888 at Congregation Sha'arai Shomayim (Mobile, Alabama). In 1888 he moved to Congregation B'nai Jehudah' in Kansas City, Missouri. In 1892 he was called by the Congregation Rodeph Shalom (Philadelphia).In this city he helped in the establishment of the Federation of Jewish Philanthropies (1901) and the Philadelphia Rabbinical Association (1901).

In 1919, he was invited to speak at the First Korean Congress in Philadelphia where he gave a prayer and a talk associating the fight for independence of Koreans from the Japanese occupation with the freedom of the Jews from Egypt: "I am here simply to say to you that there is a very strong bond of sympathy between the Jew and all those who now or who have ever in the past made an appeal against oppression and tyranny of any kind and in behalf of freedom and justice".He was rabbi at Temple Rodeph Sholem until 1922 when he fell ill. According to Encyclopaedia Judaica "During World War I, he toured army bases and was chaplain to soldiers. His efforts led to the development of a heart condition and forced retirement".

Rabbi Berkowitz played a part in the creation of numerous humanitarian organizations. In Mobile, Alabama he created The Humane Movement for the Protection of Children and Animals from Cruelty. In Kansas City, he helped create the first bureau of charities and corrections and participated in the meetings of the National Conference of Charities and Corrections as a representative of the state of Missouri. In Philadelphia, he was a member of the Mayor's Vice Commission which dealt with the prostitution among East European immigrant girls and of the Board of Recreation, and was a vice-president of the Universal Peace Union and Social Purity Alliance. He also helped create playgrounds in all the city.

Berkowitz founded the Jewish Chautauqua Society in 1893, where he served as chancellor. This was "his chief contribution to Jewish institutional and educational activity in the United States" according to his biographical sketch in the American Jewish Archives.When the Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR) was founded in 1889 and he became a charter member. According to the same biographical sketch “he functioned as chairman of the Committee to draft a formula for the reception of proselytes and the committee on arbitration to adjust differences between congregations and rabbis.Berkowitz published many works, with all his manuscripts are conserved at the Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives in Cincinnati, OH


Hebrew Description



EJ; http://www.jcpa.org/jpabsp98.htm; Singerman 3622