A Voice That Spoke for Justice

The Life and Times of Stephen S. Wise

By Melvin I. Urofsky

Subjects: Jewish Studies
Paperback : 9780873955393, 439 pages, June 1981
Hardcover : 9780873955386, 439 pages, June 1981

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Table of contents


1. Goodly Beginnings

2. The Cause and the Lady

3. Bishop of Oregon

4. Emanu-El

5. The Free Synagogue

6. Rabbi of the Free Synagogue

7. The Rabbi as Progressive

8. Wilson and the New Freedom

9. Zionism Redivivus

10. War ...

11. ... and Peace

12. "Slightly Dispirited"

13. The Jewish Institute of Religion

14. Ivri Anochi

15. Great Betrayals

16. In the Prime of Life

17. The Political Rabbi

18. A Voice in the Wilderness

19. Non Possumus!

20. In Congress Assembled

21. Conflicts

22. Holocaust

23. Dissent in Zion

24. Shehechyanu

25. Final Fruits

26. At Last to Rest


Bibliographical Note



In the first half of this century, a talented and charismatic leadership restructured the American Jewish community to meet the demands and opportunities of a pluralistic, secular society. The work of this generation of titans still guides the current modes of American Jewish life. The last of these giants was the influential reformer Stephen S. Wise--a progenitor of American Zionism, creator of the American and World Jewish Congresses, and founder of the Jewish Institute of Religion. As rabbi of the Free Synagogue, Wise led the fight for a living Judaism responsive to social problems.

This engrossing study is more than a chronicle of an ethnic community's adjustment to a host society. Thanks to Melvin Urofsky's painstaking research, it succeeds in revealing the true story behind a legendary and controversial figure in American Jewish history.

Melvin I. Urofsky, Professor of History and Chair of the Department of History at Virginia Commonwealth University, co-edited the highly acclaimed five-volume collection, Letters of Louis D. Brandeis, also published by the State University of New York Press.