Stephan S. Wise


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Prominent Reform Rabbi, social activist, and Zionist leader (1874–1949). Wise was born in Budapest but, at the age of 2, was brought to America. He studied at Columbia University from which he later obtained a Ph.D. Wise pursued Rabbinic studies privately and was ordained as a Rabbi by the famous preacher, Adolf Jellineck of Vienna. In 1907 Wise founded the Free Synagogue in New York—‘free’ both in the sense that no fees would be demanded of the congregation and in that Wise was allowed to express his views without any interference from the governing body of the synagogue. Wise was one of the first Reform Rabbis to break with the attitude of hostility Reform had shown to Zionism, a cause he espoused with the great oratorical power for which he was renowned.

Subjects: Judaism and Jewish Studies.

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