Protestant Promoters and Jewish Eugenics

Christine Rosen

in Preaching Eugenics

Published in print March 2004 | ISBN: 9780195156799
Published online January 2005 | e-ISBN: 9780199835218 | DOI:
Protestant Promoters and Jewish Eugenics

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This chapter continues the discussion of religious enthusiasts of eugenics by tracing the support the movement garnered from prominent Protestants such as Rev. Newell Dwight Hillis of Plymouth Church, Brooklyn, who helped eugenics supporters such as Dr. John Harvey Kellogg organize the First and Second National Race Betterment Conferences in 1915 and 1916. At the same time, Reform rabbis such as Max Reichler began to assess the eugenics movement in light of the teachings of the Jewish faith at a time when fears about Jewish and Catholic immigration to the United States were rising; at the same time, a heated debate was occurring among Jews about the benefits and dangers of intermarriage. Finally, this chapter discusses how opponents of immigration, such as eugenicist Madison Grant, were employing eugenic rhetoric to argue that the American “melting pot” could no longer absorb new arrivals.

Keywords: Rev. Newell Dwight Hillis; Dr. John Harvey Kellogg; Race Betterment Foundation; Reform Judaism; Rabbi Max Reichler; immigration; melting pot; Madison Grant; intermarriage

Chapter.  11058 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Religious Studies

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