Judaism in America—by its logical and historical development of Judaism in its most recent sphere of activity—promises to react upon and in certain directions modify all existing phases of the faith. It varies essentially from Oriental Judaism, and has surpassed even that of western Europe in its adaptation—more or less happy—of ancient ideas to modern forms. It is in much the inevitable creation of its novel environment in a new world; but it is not lacking in independent initiative along lines of thought that sometimes emanate far back in the common history. In its development three distinct threads of derivation may be discerned which, when woven together by the hands of time and circumstance, constitute the firm texture of its fabric to-day. These are: (1) Oriental Judaism (sometimes called "Orthodox," but more correctly "Ancient," Judaism), transplanted to this country by the earliest settlers, who were of Sephardic, Polish-German, and British origin; (2) Sephardic-Conservative, tracing back to the rationalistic thought of Spain (Sephard) in the early Middle Ages; (3) German-Reformed, derived from the influx of recent German thought brought hither by the living representatives of that school, to whom the rigid domination of Oriental Judaism in Europe had grown repugnant.


The first Jewish settlers in America naturally belonged to the Orthodox or Ancient section of the faith. They were observant Jews, mainly of the Orthodox Sephardic type, who had emigrated from Europe directly to South America and later on to the northern continent. Southey ("History of Brazil," quoted by Daly, "The Settlement of the Jews in North America," ed. Kohler, p. 6) states that the open joy with which the Jews of Bahia celebrated their religious ceremonies attracted unfavorable attention there, offending their Catholic neighbors; in Portugal they had been forced to be Maranos (pseudo-Christians). In 1656 a special burial-lot on the outskirts of the town was presented to the New York Jews, who had arrived in that city in 1654. In 1677 the community at Newport, R. I., where Jews had settled in 1657, consecrated a Jewish cemetery. By 1695 the New York colony had dedicated the first synagogue on the continent of North America, in Beaver street, New York. The chaplain to the English garrison (Rev. John Miller) describes a visit he paid to it in that year (see Daly, p. 27). In 1710 Abraham de Lucena, minister of the New York congregation, petitioned Governor Hunter forexemption from certain civil and military duties by reason of his sacred office as rabbi and Ḧazan (synagogue-reader), stating that the ministerial functions of his predecessors had secured for them the like immunity. Even as late as 1782, violations of the rabbinical laws were matters for inquisition at the hands of the congregational authorities, as, for instance, shaving on Sabbath ("Publ. Am. Jew. Hist. Soc." i. 18). Kalm, the Swedish traveler (quoted at length by Daly, p. 50, note), speaks of the strict observance by New York Jews of the Sabbath and dietary laws, and notes the covered heads at worship, the use of the ṭallit, and the seclusion of women-worshipers at the synagogue in New York in 1748.

Nor were contemporary settlers of German origin any different then in the matter of Orthodox observance. Such cities as New York, Newport, Savannah (1733), Charleston (1750), and Philadelphia (some time before 1781), were sought by Orthodox Sephardic Jews, as the following names of settlers testify: Abrasias, Andrade, Da Costa, De Lucena, Gomez, Hendricks (Amsterdam), Henriques, Medina, Nunez or Nones, Pacheco, Rodriguez, Seixas, in New York; and Abendana, Cardozo, Da Costa, De Lucena, Gomez, Madeira, Marache, Sasportas, and Seixas, in Philadelphia. But the cities of Pennsylvania—Philadelphia, Lancaster, etc.—as well as Richmond, Va., were the favored dwelling-places for those of German extraction, to judge from such names of early residents as Arnold Bamberger (1726), Gratz, Barnitza, Etting, Frank, possibly also Marks, Josephson, Lyon, Philipps, Simon, all in Philadelphia; and Marx, Rehine, Elkan, Darmstadt, Woolf, Kursheedt, and Bloch, all in Richmond (from 1791). Of Michael Hart (Lancaster, 1776) his daughter writes (Markens, p. 83): "He was strictly observant of Sabbaths and festivals; the dietary laws were adhered to in his home, although he was compelled to be his own shoḦeṭ (slaughterer)." The German Jews were probably still in great minority; for divine services were everywhere conducted according to the Orthodox Sephardic ritual in its ancient forms, amplified and elaborated by certain abuses that had encrusted themselves upon it. Anticipating events, it may be here mentioned that the first synagogue founded by Orthodox Germans in Philadelphia, was extant in 1801; in New York, that of B'nai Jeshurun was founded in 1825; followed by Anshe Chesed in 1830 (consolidated in 1874 with Temple Beth-el). In 1840 a Polish congregation, Sha'are Zedek, was established there; in 1841 the Sha'are Hashomayim, which consolidated in 1899 with the Ahawath Chesed. (Concerning the foundation of synagogues in other states, see Markens, l.c., pp. 78-125.) The first English translation of the Sephardic service was published in New York in 1766. See Lady Magnus, "Outlines of Jewish History," p. 347. For Isaac Leeser's edition, see list of publications at the end of this article.

First Reform of Sephardic Origin.

The first notes of dissatisfaction with the existing routine of a lengthy and cumbersome liturgy—and thus the first utterances of Reform—were sounded in the Orthodox Sephardic congregation of Charleston, S. C., and by a Sephardi of the Sephardim. Isaac Harby (of the Morocco family Arbib), born at Charleston in 1788, was a noted publicist and dramatist and the first president of the Reformed Society of Israelites in that city. In his first annual address (Nov. 21, 1825) he expatiates on the principles and aims of the society—which were "to promote true principles of Judaism according to its purity and spirit"—and formulates the demands then recently made in a petition to the congregational authorities for the improvement of the liturgy. These consisted of the addition to the regular service of English versions of the principal parts thereof; "the abolition of rabbinical interpolations [extracts from rabbinical writings] and of useless repetitions; and to read or chant with solemnity." Further, the delivery by the Ḧazan of a weekly lecture or discourse upon the section read from the Law was asked for; the same to be "explanatory of its meaning, edifying to the young, gratifying to the old, and instructive to every age and class of society." Other demands were made for the abolition of profane offerings, "and not to insult us with bad Spanish or Portuguese"; these demands having reference to the practise of making money donations in public at certain stages of the worship, which "offerings" were announced aloud in a mongrel Spanish-Portuguese dialect, replete with linguistic and grammatical errors.

First Reform Congregation in America.

The society numbered nearly fifty members: but its efforts did not meet with the approval of the congregational authorities; and in 1828 Harby removed to New York, where he died the same year. Those remaining, however, rented a hall and conducted their worship according to their own modernized ideas; and thus the first conservatively Reform congregation in America, with David Nunez Carvalho as honorary reader, was formed by those of Sephardic stock, the lineal descendants of the rationalizing and cultured Sephardim of ancient days.

It may always be a moot question how far these innovations—which were then held to strike at the fundamental principles of Judaism—were influenced or suggested by the antecedent Reform movement in Germany, where, ten years earlier, Jacobson had originated a similar introduction of the vernacular into the Hebrew liturgy, and of the vernacular sermon and hymns (at Seesen, Berlin, and Hamburg). The probabilities seem greatly in favor of the supposition that the Charleston movement was independent, if for no other reason than that the aristocratic Sephardim of that community would have felt it derogatory merely to adopt what Ashkenazim (Germans and Poles) had inaugurated: such was the feeling existent in religious as well as social matters between these two great bodies of Jews. Thus inaugurated, this conservative reform, aiming at the esthetic and intelligent development of divine service, although perhaps not immediately successful, showed in the sequence of events that it had struck lasting root; for when, in 1840, a new synagogue was built by the congregation, then under the guidance of Rev. Gustavus Posnanski (of German extraction), who had been minister since 1835, an organ and choir were introduced, together with a prayer-ritual modified after the Hamburg prayer-book. This led to the secession of the Orthodox minority, and to the formation by them of a separate congregation; which schism continued until reconsolidation took place in 1866. The Charleston movement toward a conservative reform, thus inaugurated, gradually lost force, owing probably to the complete lack of theologically equipped leaders. It did not appear again with any prominence for three or four decades, when, under the name of Conservatives, various important congregations—hitherto Orthodox—adopted some of the features of Reform (introduction of the organ, family pews, and an abbreviated liturgy). Among these congregations were Bnai Jeshurun (Henry S. Jacobs, minister) and Shaaray Tefilla (F. de Sola Mendes, minister),both in New York, the former in 1876, the latter in 1878.

Foreign-Born Rabbis.

But although the Charleston movement thus subsided for an interval, the opportunity had offered meanwhile for the interweaving on a larger scale of the third strand in the fabric of American Judaism, that of the more radical, more rationalistic, scholarly German Reform. In 1843 fifteen gentlemen in New York, of German extraction, having constituted a "Cultus Verein," organized the Emanu-El Society, "to introduce an improved form of divine service." They were in the main the same who were influential in founding the Order of B'ne B'rith. By 1845 their numbers had increased to 33; holding service in a private dwelling at the corner of Grand and Clinton streets, with Leo Merzbacher (born at Fürth, 1809; died, New York, 1856) as their rabbi and G. M. Cohen as Ḧazan. About the same time, or possibly a little before, the Har Sinai Reform congregation was formed in Baltimore, with the adoption of the Hamburg Temple ritual ("Sinai," i. 199); and was incorporated Nov. 1, 1843. But for a considerable period Reform made little headway. The representative leaders of the Orthodox wing, who strenuously opposed all innovations, were, in the order of their arrival in America, Isaac Leeser, conspicuous for his literary activity (born in Westphalia, 1806; merchant and teacher in Richmond, Va., 1824; minister in Philadelphia, 1830; died there 1868); Samuel M. Isaacs (born in Holland, 1804; installed at New York, 1839; died there, 1878); Morris J. Raphall (born at Stockholm, 1797; installed at Birmingham, England, 1841, New York 1849; died, 1868), the latter two both active in New York; Abraham de Sola (born at London, 1825; installed at Montreal, 1847; died there, 1882); and Sabato Morais (born at Leghorn, 1823; installed at Philadelphia, 1851; died there, 1897).

On the other side, in addition to Dr. Merzbacher, the representatives of the more strenuous and, speaking generally, more scholarly German Reform movement were: Max Lilienthal (born in Bavaria, 1815; installed at New York 1844, at Cincinnati 1855, died there, 1882); Isaac M. Wise (born in Bohemia, 1819; installed at Albany 1846, Cincinnati 1854; died there, 1900); Isidore Kalish (born in Prussia, 1816; installed at Cleveland 1850, at Newark 1870; died there, 1886); James K. Gutheim (born in Prussia, 1817; installed at Cincinnati 1845, at New York 1866, at New Orleans 1868; died there, 1886); David Einhorn (born in Bavaria, 1819; installed at Pesth 1848, at Baltimore 1855, at New York 1866; died there, 1879); Samuel Adler (born at Worms, 1810; installed at Alzey 1844, at New York 1856; died there, 1891); B. Felsenthal (born in Bavaria, 1822; installed at Chicago 1854); and Liebman Adler, of a more conservative cast (born at Weimar, 1812; installed at Detroit 1855, at Chicago 1861; died there, 1892). These leaders avowedly belonged to the radical German Reform school, which, not content with such minor innovations in public worship as the Charleston congregation had inaugurated, demanded an adjustment to modern times and circumstances of the professed principles of Judaism, not of its forms merely.

The movement was of slow growth; for opposition to it was active, and feeling ran high. Before tracing the history of its final development, the successive arrivals in America of many destined to take part in the formative process must be noted. In the sixties came Samuel Hirsch (born in Rhenish-Prussia, 1815, officiated in Birkenfeld 1842, in Budapest 1852, in Philadelphia 1866; died, 1889); Benjamin Szold (born in Hungary, 1830; officiated at Baltimore 1860); and Marcus M. Jastrow (born at Rogasen, 1829; officiated at Warsaw 1857, at Worms 1863, Philadelphia 1866), both belonging to the more conservative wing of the Reform party, as did also Adolf Hübsch (born in Hungary, 1830; officiated at Prague 1861, at New York 1866; died there in 1884). Next in order of arrival in America were K. Kohler (born in Bavaria, 1843; officiated at Detroit 1869, at Chicago 1871, at New York 1879); Gustav Gottheil (born in Pinne, 1827; officiated at Manchester, England, 1860, and at New York 1873); and Alexander Kohut (born in Hungary, 1837; officiated at Stuhlweissenberg 1867, at Grosswardein 1875, and at New York 1884; died 1894), editor of the "Aruch Completum." To these must be added, as an exponent of the most radical features of Reform, such as the worship on Sunday in lieu of Saturday, Emil G. Hirsch (born in Luxemburg, 1851; officiated at Baltimore, Louisville and Chicago); and possibly as initiating a movement akin to certain sides of the Reform Judaism may be mentioned Felix Adler (born 1850), professor of Hebrew at Cornell University, and founder of the Society for Ethical Culture, New York.

Native Preachers.

A drawback to the usefulness of the older school of Reform, profound scholars though many of its members were, was felt to exist in the impossibility for those of German birth to acquire such complete mastery over the spoken English tongue as the pulpit demands. Many of them, indeed, continued to preach in German; but the use of English in the pulpit was much advanced by the foundation, through the indefatigable organizing power of I. M. Wise, first of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations in 1873, and next of the Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati (October, 1875) as the chief aim and purpose of that organization. The union began to make itself felt at once in American Judaism by the graduation annually since 1883 of native English-speaking rabbis, all of whom—so great was the dearth of native preachers—at once found positions. Up to the present (1901) over seventy have been graduated, the most prominent of whom are too conspicuous in the public eye to need individual mention here. Previous attempts at a theological seminary had been made, unsuccessfully, with "Zion College" at Cincinnati in 1855, and with "Maimonides College" at Philadelphia in 1867.

Rabbinical Conferences.

Such coherent shape as this German Reform Judaism of America possesses was given to it only slowly, and mainly through the agency of certain conferences of rabbis, which, in emulation of those held in Germany in the forties (Brunswick, 1844; Frankfort-on-the-Main, 1845), were directed to this task. At a conference held at Cleveland, O., in October, 1855, Wise, Lilienthal, Leeser, Cohn, and others were the dominant spirits; and a platform was promulgated so sweeping in its conservatism as to arouse the vigorous protest of the reformers. After stating that all Israelites agreed upon the divine origin of the Bible, it proceeded to declare the Talmud to be the sole legal and obligatory commentary on the Bible. Against this corollary (see "Sinai," 1855, i. 29) Einhorn protested most vigorously, as did also the New York Emanu-El congregation ("Sinai," l.c.); and their dissent was applauded by Leopold Stein and Ludwig Philipson in Germany. Nothing tangible was done, however, until 1869, when, in an appeal to their "theologically equipped colleagues" (published in the New York "Jewish Times," June 1, 1869), Einhorn andAdler issued a call for another conference to meet in Philadelphia in November of that year, at which, mainly through Einhorn, the following principles of Reform Judaism were enunciated:


I. Israel's Messianic goal is not the restoration of a Jewish state and its seclusion from other nations, but the union of all peoples in the knowledge of the One Supreme God, the unification of all mankind, and their elevation to purity and holiness.

II. The destruction of Israel's independence is not to be considered as the punishment for Israel's sinfulness, but as the fulfilment of the divine purpose in sending Israel forth into the world upon its priestly mission, to lead men to a correct knowledge of God and to the performance of His will.

III.The Aaronic priesthood and the sacrificial services in the Temple were but preparatory and temporary steps to the better fitting of Israel for this world-wide task. They have therefore disappeared now forever; and all references to them in our prayers should be in the way of historical mention only.

IV. The belief in a resurrection of the body has no religious foundation in Judaism: the belief in the immortality of the soul is the proper formulation for our belief in this connection.

V. The employment in worship of the Hebrew language, in which the priceless treasures of divine revelation have been preserved and the immortal monuments of a literature dominating all civilization have been handed down, must be regulated by the knowledge or ignorance of that language by the people for whom the ritual is arranged.


The male child of a Jewish mother is by the fact of its birth, just as much as the female child, a member of the Jewish community, even without circumcision.

In addition, the subjects of marriage and divorce were discussed; the law of the land was recognized in such matters as the paramount authority, and various modifications in keeping with the age were promulgated.

Questions not fully discussed at the conference were postponed to another convention to be held the following year at Cincinnati. This projected conference did not take place, however; but in June, 1871, a convention was held there at which certain ill-considered utterances about revelation and a personal God were made, which provoked an indignant protest by Einhorn and eighteen other Reform rabbis (see Conferences). No other Reform conferences of note took place until November, 1885, when at Pittsburg, in obedience to a call issued by Kohler, another attempt was made to formulate principles and to reconcile differences. The following is an abstract of the Pittsburg resolutions:

Art. 1 declares that Judaism conveys the highest conception of God and of His relation to man; that God is the Creator and Ruler of the World, Father and Educator of the human race.

Art. 2 treasures the Holy Scriptures as the record of Divine Revelation, and of the consecration of the Jewish people as the missionaries of the One God. In composition and literary arrangement, the Scriptures are only the work of men, with the unavoidable limitations of their age.

Art. 3 welcomes the results of natural science as the best helps to the understanding of the working of Divine Love in the world, the Bible serving as guide to illustrate the Divine Power working within us.

Art. 4 regards the Mosaic laws as intended for the training of the Jews of Palestine in their former surroundings; that only the moral laws are divine; and that all social, political, and priestly statutes, inconsistent with our modern habits and views, are to be rejected.

Art. 5 declares that the Mosaic-rabbinical laws on diet, purity, and dress fail to imbue modern Jews with the spirit of priestly holiness; and that their observance to-day would obstruct rather than enhance moral and spiritual elevation.

Art. 6 proclaims Israel's Messianic hope to be the hope for the establishment of the authority of peace, truth, justice, and love among all men. No return to Palestine is expected, nor the reinstitution there of a Jewish state, or of a worship conducted by descendants of Aaron.

Art. 7 declares Judaism to be an ever-growing, progressive, and rational religion of modern civilization, and asserts the necessity of preserving identity with the great past of the Jewish nation.

Art. 8 hails the efforts made by various religious denominations toward removing the barriers separating sect from sect.

Art. 9 declares it to be the duty of Jews to spread the knowledge of their religious truths and mission among Jews and Gentiles.

Art. 10 declares the present agitated state of Judaism to be a period of transition from a blind belief in authority and exclusion to a rational and humanitarian conception of religion; and that the masses, therefore, should be enlightened as to the history and mission of the Jewish people, and their social and spiritual condition elevated through press, pulpit, and school.

The declarations of the Pittsburg conference, while to a great extent acceptable to all shades of Judaism, contained, nevertheless, certain planks that gave dire offense to the more Orthodox—notably to those declaring against the hope for the restoration of Palestine as a Jewish home, and against the dietary laws, etc. Various pronouncements at the conference in favor of Sunday services and discussions arising from motions favoring the admission of proselytes without circumcision evoked a heated agitation, which eventually led to the foundation (May 9, 1886) of the Orthodox Jewish Theological Seminary in New York, the main moving spirit in which was Morais, who was its director until his death.

The Union Prayer-Book.

One of the first cares of the Reform movement was naturally for an improvement in the traditional prayer-ritual. Moderate changes, as already shown, had been advocated by the Charleston movement, and also in the various prayer-books successively put forth by Szold and Jastrow, by Wise in his "Minhag America," by Hübsch, and by others; but the most radical—embodying principles afterward formulated by the Philadelphia conference—was that of Einhorn, "'Olat ha-Tamid" (The Perpetual Offering), published 1856, with German translation; edited in English by E. G. Hirsch in 1896. Good work in the line of harmonizing the various independent rituals that had sprung up in all the decades of attempted ritual reform was done by the Central Conference of American rabbis (organized in Detroit, 1889; Isaac M. Wise, first president) in producing the "Union Prayer-book," which, to a very large extent, was founded on the Einhorn book (1894-95). Laboring under certain imperfections of literary style and a rather vague expression of Reform ideas, it is nevertheless, in point of practical utility, a considerable improvement over its predecessors, and has accordingly been adopted in the majority of Reform and even Conservative congregations in America—contributing thus to the great desideratum of a uniformity of service all over the United States. A "Union Hymnal," published by the same conference in 1897, exhibits the weak features of the prayer-book to an even greater degree—a proposed new edition will probably remove the latter. Unification of Sunday-school instruction has also been a department in which the Central Conference has worked most acceptably (the Hebrew Sabbath-School Union being founded in 1886 with Rabbi David Philipson, of Cincinnati, as president). For the educational development in American Judaism, see Sabbath-school and Confirmation.

Future Elements and Problems.

The distinctive tendency of progressive American Judaism has thus been toward a scholarly and earnest development from the Ancient or Orthodox phase, in the light of the circumstances and demands created by the new sphere and the modern age. As concerns its future course in the United States, it seems destined by its numbers and its vigor to be a prominent factor in the development of the Judaism of the world. Any future addition of qualifying elements can come only from the Orthodox side of European Jewry; that is, from the oppressed districts of eastern Europe. Since 1882, these have been arriving in large numbers throughout the United States. But possessed of learning as well as intelligence, such elements will in all probability, after a generation or two in their new surroundings, conform themselves to the mean between extremeOrientalism and extreme Reform. It is to this mean that American Judaism as a whole is tending. Experience teaches that Oriental orthodoxy in a free country does not long successfully withstand the rationalizing influence of modern culture. It is true, however, that the principles of Reform Judaism have been frequently misunderstood by the masses and misapplied by incompetent leaders, with detrimental results. The error of disproportionate demolition, as well as the evil of restlessness, resulting in irreverence for things once held sacred, are beginning to be perceived and deplored. Nevertheless, fanatical hostilities between leaders of religious thought are no longer known, each side having arrived at the conclusion that in an interchange of ideas lies true wisdom. The restoration of Sabbath sanctity, the systematic education of the young, public worship well ordered and in the vernacular—these are the problems in which both sides are to-day joining hands for common effort. In connection with the last-named field, the efforts of the National Council of Jewish Women—formed in Chicago in 1893—are noteworthy. Remarkable also have been the attempts to lend a religious tinge to the common leisure-day (Sunday) by holding worship thereon in various Reform temples and the endeavors of the more conservative to similarly provide religious edification for those engrossed in commerce on the seventh day by holding special services late on Friday evenings. See Sunday Services.

A Sabbath Observance League was founded in New York in 1868, but it accomplished little. Resuscitated under various auspices from time to time, results are not even yet tangible; but the growing disposition in large cities to observe Saturday as a holiday in the commercial world, together with the dawning perception that the reputable Christian respects the Jew in direct proportion as, other things considered, he respects his ancestral religion, may yet achieve what formal attempts have failed to accomplish. While the rite of circumcision was violently denounced as barbarous by the early Reform rabbis of radical stripe (see L. Zunz on "Circumcision," Frankfort, 1844; also S. Holdheim, Schwerin and Berlin, 1844; Abraham Geiger, "Gesammelte Werke," v. 181, 202, and Einhorn, "Sinai," ii. 699, iii. 796), the tendency is now to listen to what medical science teaches of the prophylactic value of the rite from moral, mental, and sanitary standpoints (Bryant, "Phimosis" in "The Practice of Surgery," pp. 632, 708; Sayre, "Orthopedic Surgery," 1876; and T. Gaillard Thomas, "The Higher Functions of Medicine," pp. 7-10); and while to some extent not conforming to the rite, Reform is no longer violently antagonistic. Regarding the belief in the restoration of Israel to Palestine—so stoutly disavowed by earlier reform—see the article Zionism.

Orders and Associations.

On the practical side any account of American Judaism would be incomplete without reference to the orders peculiar to it (see Orders). Perhaps the most potent agencies, in point of the greatest good to the greatest number in the educational field, are institutions such as the Jewish Trade Schools (New York Technical Institute, 1883); the Baron de Hirsch Trade School (founded in New York, 1890; enlarged, 1899); the Woodbine (N. J.) Agricultural School (founded 1894 by the Baron de Hirsch Fund); and the National Farm School at Doylestown, Pa. (founded 1896 by Rabbi Joseph Krauskopf of Philadelphia). The practical work of all of these is leavened by Jewish religious instruction. Young Men's Hebrew Associations exist in many cities. The parent association—and by much the most conspicuous of them—is that in New York (founded 1874), which of late (1901) has exhibited renewed vitality and vigor. Similar work on a very large scale has been for years accomplished in the lower portion of the city by the New York Educational Alliance (founded 1889), in a building erected by communal effort, but placed upon a permanent endowment footing by the wise munificence of Baron de Hirsch. All these institutions, to which may be added the benevolent "Sisterhoods" organized in the congregations for personal effort in philanthropic work (first suggested by Dr. Gustav Gottheil, Feb. 3, 1889), are destined to have an important influence in Americanizing a large number of the youth (of both sexes) born in the United States of European parentage, whose religious inclinations, on attaining adult age, are toward the mean of American Judaism, rather than toward the extremes of either the Oriental or the ultra-Reform phases.

In point of literary activity, the productiveness of American Judaism has not been hitherto energetic. In addition to a very large number of periodicals, weekly and monthly (see Periodicals), the purposes of enlightenment have been served by the various successive publication societies (see American Jewish Publication Society and Jewish Publication Society of America). The following is a list of works in various departments of Judaism (theoretical and practical), published in the United States:

  • I. Leeser, "Jewish Family Bible," 1853;
  • A. de Sola, "Behemoth Hatemeoth" (Unclean Animals), 1848;
  • idem, "Sanitary Institutions of the Hebrews," 1860;
  • I. M. Wise, "Pronaos to Holy Writ";
  • M. Flügel, "Spirit of Biblical Legislation";
  • I. Kalish, "Guide for Rational Inquiries into Biblical Writings";
  • B. Szold, "The Book of Job, with a New Commentary" (Hebrew), 1886;
  • M. Heilprin, "Historical Poetry of the Ancient Hebrews, Translated and Critically Examined," 1879;
  • H. Berkowitz, "The Open Bible," 1896;
  • A. B. Ehrlich, "Miḳra ki-Pheschuto" (critical notes in Hebrew on the Bible), 1899-1900.
  • I. Kalish, "A Sketch of the Talmud";
  • A. Hahn, "Rabbinical Dialectics," 1879;
  • M. Mielziner, "Jewish Law of Marriage and Divorce in Ancient and Modern Times," 1884;
  • idem, "Introduction to the Talmud," 1894;
  • S. Mendelsohn, "Criminal Jurisprudence of the Ancient Hebrews," 1891;
  • B. C. Remondino, "History of Circumcision";
  • D. W. Amram, "The Jewish Law of Divorce," 1899;
  • M. Jastrow, "Dictionary of the Targumim, the Talmud Babli and Yerushalmi, and the Midrashic Literature," 1886;
  • Margolis, Max L., "Commentarius Isaacidis," 1891;
  • idem, "The Columbia College MS. of Meghilla," 1892;
  • C. Levias, "Grammar of the Aramaic Idiom of the Babylonian Talmud," 1900;
  • M. L. Rodkinson, "New Edition of the Babylonian Talmud" (English translation), 1896;
  • S. Sekles, "The Poetry of the Talmud," 1880;
  • A. Huebsch, "Gems of the Orient," 1880;
  • L. Weiss, "Talmudic and Other Legends," 1888;
  • H. Polano, "Selections from the Talmud";
  • Alexander Kohut, "The Ethics of the Fathers," 1885;
  • A. S. Isaacs, "Stories from the Rabbis," 1890;
  • Henry Cohen, "Talmudic Sayings," 1894.
  • I. Leeser, "The Jews and the Mosaic Law," 1833;
  • I. M. Wise, "Essence of Judaism," 1857;
  • idem, "The Cosmic God," 1876;
  • A. Hähn, "Judaism and Christianity," 1883;
  • idem, "Arguments for the Existence of God";
  • F. de Sola Mendes, "A Hebrew's Reply to the Missionaries," 1876;
  • L. Grossman, "Judaism and the Science of Religion";
  • K. Kohler, "Ethical Basis of Judaism," 1887;
  • M. Rabbinowitz, "Ha-MaḦanaim" (Hebrew), 1888;
  • J. H. Hertz, "Bachya, the Jewish Thomas à Kempis," 1898;
  • B. Drachman, "The Nineteen Letters of Ben Uziel," 1899.
Jewish History and Literature.—
  • History: M. J. Raphall, "Post-Biblical History of the Jews," 1856;
  • A. de Sola, "The Jews of Persia," 1848;
  • idem, "Shabbethai Tsevi," 1869;
  • idem, "The Jews of Poland," 1870;
  • idem, "The Jews of France," 1871;
  • I. M. Wise, "History of the Israelitish Nation," 1854;
  • idem, "History of the Second Commonwealth," 1880;
  • idem, "Martyrdom of Jesus of Nazareth";
  • H. S. Morais, "Eminent Israelites of the Nineteenth Century," 1880;
  • idem, "Jews of Philadelphia";
  • idem, "The Daggatouns," 1882;
  • I. Markens, "The Hebrews in America," 1888;
  • E. Schreiber, "Reform Judaism and Its Pioneers," 1892;
  • E. G. Hirsch, "The Crucifixion," 1892;
  • M. J. Kohler, "Rebecca Franks," 1894;
  • D. Philipson, "European Jewries," 1886;
  • S. Wolf, "The American Jew as Patriot, Soldier, and Philanthropist," 1895;
  • idem, "Mordecai Manuel Noah," 1897;
  • idem, "Influence of the Jews on the Progress of the World,"1898;
  • J. Krauskopf, "The Jews and Moors in Spain," 1880;
  • C. P. Daly and Max J. Kohler, "Settlement of the Jews in North America," 1893;
  • M. Jahlomstein, "Dibre Yeme Arẓot ha-Berit" (Hebrew), 1893;
  • G. A. Kohut, "Correspondence betweenthe Jews of Malabar and New York," 1897;
  • M. Flügel, "Israel, the Biblical People," 1900;
  • H. Iliowizi, "Jewish Dreams and Realities." Literature: I. Kalish, "The Sefer Yezirah," 1877;
  • Emma Lazarus, "Songs of a Semite," 1883;
  • D. Philipson, "The Jew in English Fiction," 1889;
  • G. Rosenzweig, "Masseket America" (Hebrew), 1892;
  • H. Rosenthal, "Koheleth: Worte des Sammlers," 1893;
  • idem, "Shir ha-Shirim: Das Lied der Lieder," 1893;
  • M. Rosenfeld, "Songs from the Ghetto," 1898;
  • M. M. Dolitzky, "Shire MenaḦem" (Hebrew), 1900;
  • W. Popper, "Censorship of Hebrew Books," 1899;
  • N. S. Lebowitz, "Yehudah Arieh mi-Modena" (Hebrew), 2d ed., 1901.
  • I. Leeser, "Daily Prayers," 1847;
  • I. M. Wise, "Minhag America," 1856;
  • D. Einhorn, "'Olat-Tamid," 1856;
  • ib., second edition, ed. by E. G. Hirsch, 1896;
  • B. Szold and M. Jastrow, "Abodath Israel," 1864 and 1871;
  • M. Jastrow, "Hegyon Leb (Hausandacht)," 1875;
  • I. P. Mendes, "Pure Words," 1884;
  • New York Board of Jewish Ministers, "Jewish Home Prayer-book," 1888;
  • idem, "The Door of Hope" (prayers at the cemetery), 1898;
  • Central Conference of American Rabbis, "Union Hebrew Prayer-book," 1894-95;
  • G. Gottheil, "Sun and Shield," 1896;
  • M. Jastrow, "The Haggadah Service for Passover";
  • H. Berkowitz, "Kiddush, or Sabbath Sentiment," 1897;
  • Annie J. Levi, "Meditations of the Heart," 1900.
  • Penina Moise, "Hymns Written for the Use of Hebrew Congregations," 2d ed., 1856;
  • I. M. Wise, "Hymns, Psalms, and Prayers," 1857;
  • G. Gottheil, "Hymns and Anthems Adapted for Jewish Worship," 1887;
  • F. de Sola Mendes, "Synagogue and School," 1887;
  • I. S. Moses, "Sabbath-school Hymnal," 1894;
  • Conference of American Rabbis, "Union Hymnal," 1897.
  • I. Leeser, "Sermons and Discourses on the Jewish Religion," 1837, etc.;
  • D. Einhorn, "Ausgewählte Predigten";
  • J. Krauskopf, "Evolution and Judaism";
  • F. de Sola Mendes, "Tyndallism and Judaism," 1874;
  • L. Adler, "Sabbath Home Thoughts";
  • A. Huebsch, "Sermons and Lectures" (memorial volume), 1885;
  • H. Baar, "Addresses on Homely and Religious Subjects," 1880;
  • K. Kohler, "Backward or Forward!" 1885;
  • S. Schindler, "Messianic Expectations and Modern Judaism," 1886;
  • M. H. Harris, "Temple Israel Pulpit," 1894-96;
  • Conference of American Rabbis, "The American Jewish Pulpit," 1896.
  • J. J. Lyons and Abraham de Sola, "Jewish Calendar for Fifty Years, with an Introductory Essay on the Jewish Calendar," 1854;
  • A. N. Coleman, "American Hebrew Manual, a Calendar for Eighteen Years," etc., 1883;
  • E. M. Myers, "Centurial," 1890;
  • Harkavy's "People's Calendar," 1895-1900;
  • Cyrus Adler, "American Jewish Year Book," 5660, etc.
  • Simha C. Peixotto, "Catechism of Bible History";
  • J. Katzenberg, "Biblical History";
  • S. Deutsch, "Bible History," 1875;
  • F. de Sola Mendes, "Child's First Bible," 1875;
  • idem, "Outlines of Bible History," 1886;
  • Adolph Moses and I. S. Moses, "The Pentateuch," 1884;
  • idem, "The Historical Books of the Bible," 1884;
  • idem, "Ethics of the Jewish Scriptures";
  • H. Abarbanel, "English School and Family Reader for Israelites," 1883;
  • J. Krauskopf and H. Berkowitz, "Bible Ethics";
  • M. H. Harris, "The People of the Book," 1890;
  • H. P. Mendes, "Jewish History, Ethically Presented," 1896;
  • Annie J. Moses, "Bible Stories," 1900;
  • S. Hecht, "Post-Biblical History," 1896. Religion: "Johlson's Mosaic Religion," translated by I. Leeser, 1830;
  • I. Leeser, "Catechism for Jewish Children," 1839-56;
  • M. N. Nathan, "Road to Faith," 1860;
  • B. Szold and I. M. Wise, "Catechism of Judaism";
  • G. Jacobs, "Elementary Catechism of Judaism";
  • J. M. de Solla, "Jewish Student's Companion," 1880;
  • idem, "Confirmation Manual" (no date);
  • K. Kohler, "Guide for Instruction in Judaism," 1898.
  • See also Chautauqua, Jewish; American Jewish Historical Society; Sunday Schools; Zionism.
Cordial Relations with Christians.

Judaism in the United States has been most fortunate in securing testimony of esteem from political authorities and from representatives of the Christian faith, to a degree unheard of—and perhaps impossible—in Europe. The highest legislative body in the land, the national Congress in Washington, has repeatedly invited Jewish ministers to open its public sessions with prayer; the earliest instance in the Senate was afforded by M. J. Raphall, Feb. 1, 1860, followed, among others, by Abraham de Sola, Jan. 9, 1872; L. Stern, Aug. 12, 1876; H. Pereira Mendes, 1884; J. Silverman, 1892. Similarly the House of Representatives there was opened by M. Jastrow in 1869; E. G. Hirsch, March, 1892; E. N. Calisch, April 7, 1892, and I. M. Wise, 1892. Of the numerous state legislatures, New York has invited Max Schlesinger of Albany (repeatedly since 1867); Virginia, E. N. Calisch (frequently since 1891); Alabama, Oscar J. Cohen of Mobile; and New Jersey, N. Rosenau, 1901. Isaac L. Leucht was honored in the same way by the Constitutional Convention of the state of Louisiana; and the Republican National Convention at St. Louis, in 1896, made Samuel Sale one of its chaplains.

Nor has this cordial recognition of Judaism as a church been confined to non-religious bodies: Jewish ministers in America have been so frequently invited to address Christian audiences in the churches of the latter that the incident no longer attracts special attention. The earliest steps in this direction were taken by M. Lilienthal and I. M. Wise of Cincinnati, who repeatedly preached in Christian churches; while among those who have accepted similar invitations in Unitarian, Universalist, Lutheran, and Presbyterian churches have been J. Krauskopf, in Philadelphia, Kansas City, Des Moines, Cheyenne, also in Huntsville, Ala.; I. Aaron, in Buffalo, N. Y., and Hamilton, Ont.; H. J. Messing, in Hannibal, Mo., 1897; L. Stern, in Washington, D. C., 1899; I. L. Leucht and Max Heller in New Orleans, La.; S. Hecht, in Milwaukee, Wis.; S. Sale, in Baltimore, Md.; A. Guttman, in Syracuse, N. Y., 1899; R. Lasker, repeatedly at summer services in Winthrop, Mass.; W. S. Friedman, for ten successive Sundays in Denver, Col; Emil G. Hirsch, very frequently in Chicago; G. Gottheil, in New York and Brooklyn; F. de Sola Mendes, at the Talmage "Jubilee" in Brooklyn; M. J. Gries, in Cleveland, O., and Chattanooga, Tenn.; L. Mayer, in Pittsburg; Joseph Leucht, Newark, N. J.; H. Berkowitz, First Unity Church of Philadelphia, also repeatedly in Methodist and Unitarian churches at Kansas City; E. N. Calisch, Baptist Church, Peoria; M. Schlesinger and Alexander Lyons, Congregational Church, Albany, N. Y.; O. J. Cohen, Methodist Church, Dallas, Tex.; and Meldola de Sola, at St. George's Church, Montreal, 1886 (lecture on the Jewish dietary laws). At the Parliament of Religions at Chicago in 1893 Emil G. Hirsch was one of the leaders in speech and action; while as recently as 1900, Jewish ministers were welcomed to prominent participation in the New York State Conference of Religions, both in preparing papers for the same (H. Berkowitz, M. H. Harris, R. Grossman) and in compiling a union ritual for the use of the conference (G. Gottheil).

Christian congregations have frequently worshiped in Jewish temples, as, for instance, St. George's Episcopal in the United Hebrew Congregations' Temple at St. Louis, 1888; several Presbyterian congregations and a Unitarian congregation in Pittsburg at the Jewish temple there, 1885, etc.; the First Baptist Church of Newark, N. J., at the local temple in 1889. In October, 1895, Miss Florence Buck, of the Unity Church, Cleveland, O., preached in the temple of that city, and vice versa Jewish congregations were offered the use of churches for their regular divine service on Sabbath and holy days. So, for instance, the Sinai congregation in Chicago, after the great fire had destroyed its temple in 1871, assembled for a long time in a Congregational church for regular worship.

  • C. P. Daly, The Settlement of the Jews in North America, ed. Max J. Kohler, New York, 1893;
  • Isaac Markens, The Hebrews in America, New York, 1888;
  • American, Jewish, Year Book, 5661, ed. Cyrus Adler, Philadelphia, 1900;
  • Publications of the Am. Jew. Historical Society, 1893 et seq.;
  • L. Geiger, Abraham Geiger's Nachgelassene Schriften, vol. v., Berlin, 1876;
  • H. L. Pinckney and Abraham Moise, A Selection from the Miscellaneous Writings of the Late Isaac Harby, Esq., Charleston, 1829;
  • D. Einhorn, in the periodical Sinai, 1855.
F. de S. M.