New York Orthodoxy Between the Wars

Introduction [1]

The quest to craft a traditional Judaism that is also engaged with modernity and the wholesome elements of non-Jewish civilization is not new and has been given many names. Some sound odd to today’s Orthodox ears: Traditional Judaism, Positive Historical Judaism, Progressive Conservatism, as well as the more familiar Modern Orthodoxy, Centrist Orthodoxy, and, most recently, Open Orthodoxy.[2] A paradigm for this enterprise was developed in Germany, where Rabbis Samson Raphael Hirsch, Esriel Hildesheimer, and others developed Neo-Orthodoxy, which Mordechai Breuer described as an attempt to “appropriate the positive values and acceptable norms of European culture and society.” According to Breuer, Neo-Orthodoxy “was not only concerned with somehow coming to terms with modernity and possibly averting its dangers but also with internalizing modernity and putting it in the service of traditional Judaism when this seemed beneficial.” [3]

In late-nineteenth-century America, Sabato Morais adopted the slogan “Enlightened Orthodoxy” as he searched for support to help found the Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS).[4] Arthur Kiron has distilled Morais’ vision of Enlightened Orthodoxy as “a harmonious model that combined openness to general cultural trends— poetry, science, and reason, as well as to universal social justice—with devout adherence to particular revealed religious doctrines and practices.”[5] From the 1940s onward, Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik and his students developed a brand known as Modern or Centrist Judaism.[6] The sociologist Samuel Heilman called its advocates “syncretists” and characterised this post-War form as believing that “much in popular culture and contemporary society was not a source of defilement, but rather a fertile environment for bringing ancient Jewish traditions and values into engagement with modernity…all the while maintaining fidelity to Jewish law and observance.” [7]

However, there is a missing link between Enlightened Orthodoxy and Modern Orthodoxy, which if not entirely forgotten is certainly overlooked. In its first phase under Morais, the JTS promoted Enlightened Orthodoxy, but Solomon Schechter’s appointment as President in 1902 began the process that led to the emergence of a distinct Conservative Judaism.[8] The baton of Enlightened Orthodoxy had to be picked up by others. They have been called proponents of “American Orthodoxy,” but the sources and themes of their outlook went beyond American ideas and needs. It might be called “Positive Orthodoxy” because of the central planks of their approach was an outgoing and confident attitude toward the possibilities for Orthodoxy. They made a bold assertion of their faith, adopted an open-minded if not unlimited approach to scholarly endeavour, and were institutional builders. The champions of this Positive Orthodoxy included scholars and educators such as Rabbis Eliezer Berkowitz, Dov Revel, and Samuel Belkin, and their role in raising disciples deserves, and is receiving, attention. I want to concentrate on four Manhattan pulpit rabbis who drove forward their vision as communal spiritual leaders: Rabbis David de Sola Pool, Leo Jung, Joseph H. Lookstein, and Herbert S. Goldstein.


Before we turn to these representatives of Positive Orthodoxy, we should look briefly at their context; the state of Orthodox Judaism in America in first half of the twentieth century.[9] Rabbi Leo Jung used to say that in this period “Orthodoxy in America was a bad joke,” and although this may have been an exaggeration, it was not without foundation.[10] Most American Jews who attended a synagogue before the Second World War went to an Orthodox synagogue. However, this did not reflect deeper Orthodox practice. On the eve of the First World War, three quarters of immigrant American Jews worked on the Sabbath and 60 percent of Jewish shops were open. Many of those who did not work still did not observe the Sabbath fully and would attend the theater. In a disturbing sign for the future, younger Jews were less observant than their parents. In 1935 it was found that only 10 percent of young Jewish men had been to a synagogue the week before the survey was taken, and in 1940 72 percent had not been to synagogue for a year.

Although by 1937 the Orthodox Union could claim that Orthodoxy was the largest Jewish religious group in America, not only was synagogue turnout poor, in order to maintain what allegiance they could, the Orthodox leaders were forced to make significant compromises including mixed seating of the sexes and late Friday night services to accommodate those who worked into the Sabbath. Orthodoxy seemed to be in terminal decline, doomed to extinction once the immigrant founders of Yiddish-speaking congregations died out. It was the Judaism of the Old World, not the New. By contrast, the Reform movement was strong, and the Conservative movement was growing rapidly (from 22 congregation in 1913 to 229 by 1929). Existing Orthodox leaders and methods seemed to provide no answer to the crisis facing their denomination.

This was the scene into which the proponents of Positive Orthodoxy stepped. They set themselves the task of stemming the tide. They were the founders of a movement that achieved something remarkable. In their time as leading figures, from the 1920s until the 1970s, Orthodoxy in America was transformed. It remained smaller than Conservative or Reform Judaism, but it ceased to be in danger of disappearing, and it regained confidence in its own principles. Between 1955 and 1965, 30 synagogues in the Orthodox Union installed a mehitsa (barrier between men and women in the sanctuary), returning to a more traditional seating arrangement.[11] In 1928, Yeshiva University was established as an Orthodox liberal arts college for men, alongside an existing rabbinical school. In 1956, it expanded to open Stern College for Women.[12] The sociologist Marshal Sklare said in 1971, “Orthodoxy has transformed its image from that of a dying movement to one whose strength and opinions must be reckoned with in any realistic appraisal of the Jewish community.”[13] Unquestionably, this revival owed a great deal to Soloveitchik and his followers, but as Aaron Rakefett Rothkof has remarked, his heroes, and the heroes of his fellow rabbinical students at Yeshiva University in the 1940s and 1950s were men such as Lookstein and Goldstein. They demonstrated that it was possible to make Orthodoxy attractive and successful in the American arena in the twentieth century.

Why turn to these Positive Orthodox figures now? What relevance do they have to the Modern Orthodox community today? At the core of the syncretist project in Orthodoxy is the idea that traditional Judaism must be reconciled with the intellectual and cultural conditions of every period. Hirsch found a way for traditional Judaism to co-exist fruitfully with German Romanticism, Hildesheimer with the then-new academic discipline of history and textual study. Later Soloveitchik created an Orthodoxy that spoke in an age of existentialism and epistemological uncertainty. Each generation needs leaders who can do this work, but there is a shortage of leadership in American Modern Orthodoxy. Soloveitchik retired in the mid-1980s and died in 1993. Many of his leading disciples are retiring or are toward the end of their careers. There are some emerging figures, whether Rabbi Meir Soloveitchik at the traditional end of the spectrum or Rabbi Dov Linzer at the liberal end. However, the syncretist endeavour needs a constant new blood. We can encourage new leaders to emerge by reflecting on the importance of leadership itself. The four figures I will discuss were proponents of a positive, broad minded, unashamed, intellectually vibrant Orthodoxy. The task of this paper is to show what Orthodox leaders can achieve, intellectually and practically, when they adopt these attitudes. [14]

Four Figures

This study will examine four synagogue rabbis whose ideas were molded before the Second World War. Each was immensely active and made contributions in numerous areas of Jewish life; however, each had a specific interest. I will examine their approach to their particular concern as a series of case studies. Our quartet comprises David de Sola Pool (1885–1970), Leo Jung (1892–1987), Joseph Lookstein (1902–1979), and Herbert S. Goldstein (1890–1970), who each concentrated on a particular sphere: faith, study, prayer, and community.

David de Sola Pool was the only Sephardic rabbi in this group. In 1907, he was invited by his cousin, Henry Pereira Mendes, to become his assistant at Shearith Israel. He became Senior Minister in 1921 and served the congregation until his death in 1970. There he preached a warm and nourishing faith. Leo Jung was the best educated of the four, in both Jewish and general terms. Jung studied at traditionalist Hungarian yeshivot and the Orthodox Rabbinical Seminary in Berlin. He pursued secular studies to doctoral level at several universities. He served the Jewish Center in Manhattan from 1922 until his death in 1987. Jung sought to demonstrate that Jewish learning was sensible, intelligent, and relevant.[15] Joseph Lookstein was born in Russia but came to New York as a small child. He attended traditionalist schools on the Lower East Side and then the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary, City College, and Columbia University.[16] He went became assistant to Rabbi Moses Zevulun Margolies (Ramaz) at Kehillath Jeshurun and inherited the pulpit in 1929. He was convinced that the key to revival was to create a synagogue service that the most acculturated American Jew could respect without losing without sacrificing loyalty to halakha. Herbert S. Goldstein was the only one of our four to be born in the United States.[17] Like Lookstein, he saw security for the future of Orthodoxy in the role of the synagogue, but his vision went far beyond the sanctuary. He wanted to place the synagogue at the center of a total community serving all its members’ religious, social, and educational needs.

David de Sola Pool—A Fulfilling Faith

David de Sola Pool was born in London in 1885 into an observant Sephardic family with a history of learning and communal service.[18] Pool grew up three miles from Bevis Marks, so his family worshipped at a branch with room for 120 worshippers, run as a labor of love by his father. There was no official clergy, so Pool heard few sermons growing up and was often called upon to lead services. Even when he was not serving as hazzan, he sang in the choir. The Judaism of Pool’s childhood was warm, uncomplicated, happy, and fulfilling. Shabbat was full of “spiritual uplift and religious joy” and “except on the New Year and Day of Atonement, my religion did not stress that I was the victim of sin.”[19]

Pool’s adolescence disrupted this simple and sunny picture. He hints in his spiritual autobiography to “sturm und drang” days, and his “questioning soul;” however, this never developed into outright religious rebellion.[20] Instead, as he matured, Pool’s general studies brought him awareness of the unity of the world and pointed him to an intellectual faith in a single God. Years later he would expand on this theme, writing of the Jewish Deity:

He is not the God of chaos, of tohu vabohu and darkness, but the God of the marvellous order revealed in nature. Is not this the teaching of the whole Bible, from its opening keynote chapter, the first chapter of Genesis with its poetic, symbolic description of an ordered creation, responding to God’s cosmic law? The law and order or nature revealed to the ancient Jews of the Bible, as they reveal to the modern mathematician-astronomer, the cosmic God. [21]

The intellectual aspect of Pool’s faith was supplemented, or sustained, by the spiritual sustenance he received from nature and from music, even music of Christian origin. Pool described how music spoke to him “in universal accents with transcended sectarian theologies.” [22]

As a young adult, Pool came under the influence of Michael Friedlander (1833–1910), the Principal of Jews’ College.[23] Friedlander was both personally pious and a modern critical scholar, who saw no contradiction between that and his faith. Pool supplemented his studies at Jews’ College with additional instruction in Talmud in the traditionalist community in the east end of London, where he was exposed to its vibrant religious life. He moved to Berlin to further his studies, at the university and the Orthodox Rabbinical Seminary, founded by R. Esriel Hildesheimer and led by R. David Tsevi Hoffman. There, Friedlander’s model of faith and scholarship was reinforced. Pool also studied briefly at the Rabbinical College in Florence, Italy, where a similar ideology carried the more Sephardic flavor of tolerance, open-mindedness, and a broad religious humanism.

As a pious, well-educated, English-speaking Western Sephardic Jew, Pool was a rare commodity. After graduating from Berlin, Pool was invited by his cousin, Henry Pereira Mendes, to become his assistant at Shearith Israel, the Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue in New York. He arrived in 1907, became Senior Minister in 1921, and served the congregation until his death in 1970, with a break from 1919 to 1921 when he worked on post-War reconstruction in Palestine. He was a leading figure in the Union of Orthodox Congregations but showed his non-sectarian leanings through his involvement with the cross-denominational New York Board of Jewish Ministers and his acceptance of an honorary doctorate from the Jewish Theological Seminary in 1942. He was a prolific author, writing on American Jewish history, Jewish thought, and social problems, and publishing a series of prayer books with English translations.[24] Like Joseph Soloveitchik, Pool should be read as an existentialist religious thinker, who expressed his own experience in the hope that others would recognize it and respond to it. However, Pool’s experience was very different to Soloveitchik’s. It was not a place of angst and loneliness, but warmth and joy.

Pool’s faith was based on the consciousness of the existence and presence of God and accepting the privilege of serving Him. He told Shearith Israel in his inaugural sermon in 1907:

When he looks again in awe to Heaven he is filled with a strengthening faith that every aspiration to God begets and inspiration from God, that every religious thought and word born from the love of the all-merciful Father returns not empty of blessing to the source of infinite love from which it sprang. [25]

Pool thought that the way to achieve this consciousness of God was not theological speculation but human relationships:

We must keep our souls sensitive to the goodness that is in man, and to aspire to that ideal which we recognize as divine. Then when our spirit is moved with the stirring uplift of beauty, with the thrill of gentleness, with the glory of love, with the moving whisper of the still small voice speaking to us through the conscience and through our ideals, then we shall feel ourselves in the very presence of God. [26]

For Pool, faith had to have content. He identified certain non-negotiable creedal elements of traditional Judaism and defined the “quintessence of Judaism” not as good works but in the declaration of faith contained in the Shema: “Hear O Israel, the Lord is our God, the Lord is one.” Pool regarded the Thirteen Principles of Faith of Maimonides as just one attempt, which never became universally accepted and did “not constitute an official authoritative canon of Jewish belief,” yet, he recognized that they had become the dominant expression and he spent some effort expounding and explaining them.[27] Yet this creedal element did not overwhelm the human and communal, and Pool denied that a Jew must subscribe to a catechism in order to join a synagogue. It was sufficient for members to accept traditional standards in public and official contexts.

Whatever the private views and lifestyle of some members, Shearith Israel had remained traditional in its ritual. Pool condemned as destructive, attempts to depart from traditional Judaism, and saw in them no future:

Therefore, when the voice of criticism is raised and we are told of the supposititious need of reform, we in this synagogue do not even discuss these theoretical claims…We call attention to…the sterility of congregations which have gone from one reform to another. Liberal Jewish congregations may have a seemingly prosperous present but they have cut themselves off from the past and have cut themselves off from the future.[28]

Pool’s emphasis here, and elsewhere, was that faith could not be free-standing; it had to exist alongside action, indeed it was the engine of action. However, the relationship between the two was complicated. Theoretical belief did not automatically lead to upright behavior. It was Judaism’s special contribution to insist on prescribed action, rather that trusting the religious impulse to lead naturally to right behavior:

It is easier to attain a spiritual mood by carrying out a concrete observance than to achieve action through first attaining an abstract spiritual mood. Lo hamidrash haikkar ella hamaaseh-—not theory but practice is essential. [29]

As we would expect this was most manifest in Jewish religious practice. According to Pool, the strictly ritual laws such as tefillin, tsitsith, and kashruth created a life of discipline, which led ultimately to “moral and religious strength…they infuse the routine of life with a sense of divine consecration and bring him closer to God.”[30]

For Pool, therefore, faith in general and Jewish faith in particular was natural, positive and fruitful. It was the result of a childhood of happy piety, based on role models who integrated their faith with their lives. It was fostered by an intellectual comprehension of the nature of the universe and an emotional appreciation of beauty and goodness. It led Jews to a spiritually fulfilling life and encouraged them to help others and improve the world. It was primarily universalistic and inclusive, although certain stands of principle had to be made. This occasionally made Pool critical of other Jewish movements but never exclusive of other Jews. The life of faith was not without effort, but it was a wholesome and enjoyable life.

Leo Jung and the Breadth of Jewish Study

Of our four figures, Leo Jung was the most accomplished scholar, in traditional and modern Jewish modes, and in general studies. He was born in Ungarish-Brod, in Moravia, in 1892.[31] He was the son of the town’s rabbi, Meir Tsevi Jung, who was a follower of Samson Raphael Hirsch and an adherent of Torah Im Derekh Erets. In 1912 Meir became the Senior Minister of the Federation of Synagogues in London. The Federation had been founded to enable the acculturation of new immigrants without forcing them into the highly Anglicized atmosphere of the United Synagogue. There he organized lecture meetings on Sabbath afternoons and created the Sinai League to promote the Hirschian ideology amongst the young. [32]

Leo worshipped his father and was brought up in his ideological and rabbinic mold. He was sent to study at yeshivot in Slovakia and proceeded to the Orthodox Rabbinical Seminary in Berlin. Eventually, he held four rabbinic ordinations, and in London, he received a further endorsement from Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook. He pursued secular studies at the universities of Vienna, Berlin, Marburg, and London, and received doctorates from the universities of Geissen and Cambridge. In 1920 he went to the United States, which boasted few Orthodox rabbis with advanced Jewish and general education. He took his first pulpit in Cleveland, Ohio, but with his profile and abilities he did not remain there long. The Jewish Center in Manhattan had been founded to promote acculturated Orthodoxy. The first attempt, under Mordecai M. Kaplan, had failed as Kaplan became more openly radical. When Jung was called from Cleveland in 1922, it marked a new beginning. He remained there as either Rabbi or Emeritus Rabbi until his death in 1987, making it one of the leading Modern Orthodox synagogues in America.

Jung was a prolific scholar, writer, and editor. He taught Jewish Ethics at Yeshiva University, translated Tractate Yoma for the Soncino Talmud, and revised his graduate work into a book: Fallen Angles in Jewish, Christian and Mohammedan Literature. In a more popular vein, he published volumes of sermons. However, the bulk of his work to spread Jewish study came through the series he edited for over 50 years, The Jewish Library. The first volume appeared in 1928, the last in 1980, and comprised 18 volumes (some revisions of earlier volumes) in total. Jung was a contributor as well as an editor, and we can infer Jung’s vision for Jewish study from his own writings and those he chose to include in the Library. [33]

In his preface to the first volume of the Library, Jung set out his agenda:

Culture is the unfolding of the divine element in human life, the progressive revelation of God above man through God in man. Judaism essentially is a culture, as rich and as broad as life. Hence, The Jewish Library, devised to bring home the thousand and one life messages of Judaism, will partake of all the shades and contours of that great canvas. The volumes of The Jewish Library, endeavoring to represent Judaism and Jewish life as a whole, will reflect in their content the dreams of the Jew, his urges and ambitions, his romantic march through the ages, the contemplative atmosphere of the Beth ha-Midrash, the rapture of the Kabbalist, the heroic scorn of the prophet—the complete panorama of Israel.[34]

Jung’s definition of “the complete panorama of Israel” was rather narrower than it might sound, and was firmly restricted to expressions of Orthodox Judaism. For Jung this was no contradiction, because he regarded Orthodoxy as the only form of Judaism:

To us Jews the Torah is the book of God, revealed to Israel and through Israel to all me. We believe implicitly in its divine origin, we accept it as the standard of our life. We obey its commandments. The meaning of the overwhelming majority of them is clear to us. Some are beyond our reason, but none strike us as incompatible with sound common sense. We have found also that observance of them has brought unlimited blessings to our people. [35]

This was a sharply polemical statement in the context of the United States, where Orthodoxy was not only in the minority but was widely regarded as outdated and doomed. It was also subtly different from Samson Raphael Hirsch’s approach. Hirsch identified non-Orthodoxy as the enemy. Jung implied that it did not exist. Within the parameters of the legitimate which he set out, Jung had an expansive understanding of valid approaches to Judaism, and he used The Jewish Library to promote this whole range. It is in this regard that his approach to Jewish study becomes significant, because his objective, and achievement, was to place before the Jewish public a wide range of original scholarship that demonstrated the breadth that Jung believed was possible within the boundaries of Orthodoxy.

Jung’s fullest statement of his approach to Jewish study is found in his essay “The Rabbis and Freedom of Interpretation,” which appeared in 1958.[36] Jung began by asserting two principles he regarded as untouchable: the revelation at Sinai and the binding authority of halakha. The acceptance of those two commitments, one theological and the other practical, left the rest of the Jewish corpus open to a wide (if not absolute) freedom of interpretation. Jung regarded this effort as “not merely lawful, not merely tolerated as an undeniable privilege…but encouraged and hailed as indications of religious loyalty…and unfailing source of intellectual and spiritual enrichment.” [37]

Jung quoted the well-known idea that there are 70 faces to the Torah and argued that it was this variety of perspectives that gave the Torah its power. Only through successive reinterpretation could the Torah remain lively and compelling:

[J]ust as the Halakhah is never finished but grows vertically and horizontally through the loving devotion of its authoritative scholars, so is the Agadah or the non-preceptive part of the Torah, eternally subject to search, investigative, comparison, elucidation, an on going enterprise—a complimentary progressive revelation of the message from Sinai— through Moses, Isaiah, Hillel, Saadia, Rambam, Ramban, Ralbag, Arama, Hirsch, Rab Kuk, to the dedicated students in all lands and cultures. [38]

Jung was unconcerned that stories in the aggadah might contradict each other or be fantastical because “although stimulating, instructive, often inspiring, they have no authority, they form no part of Jewish religious belief. Nor may they be taken literally: it is always the ideas, the lesson and not the story which is important.”[39] Jung quoted a wide range of examples of differing or contradictory aggadot, which prove that there can be no single authoritative view, whether regarding the behavior of the patriarchs, the nature of the messianic age, or anything else.

Jung was keen to demonstrate the pedigree of his ideas. He cited the early post-talmudic authorities Rav Hai Gaon, Rav Sherira Gaon, Rav Saadia Gaon, R. Shmuel ben Hofni, and R. Shmuel HaNagid as supporting this view. He added R. Abraham ben HaRambam (thirteenth century), who regarded statements on scientific or other general subjects made in the Talmud as non-binding, a view with which the leading halakhist in Jewish history, R. Yosef Caro (sixteenth century), seemed to agree. Jung defended allegorical interpretations of biblical passages, for example, interpreting the story of Balaam’s ass and the angelic visitors to Abraham as having good precedent in the Talmud and in the Midrashim, as well as the writings of the Rambam (twelfth century), R. David Kimche (twelfth and thirteenth centuries), and others. Jung was at pains to distinguish incorrect opinions from heresy. In his view, the fact that a view was incorrect did not, by itself, render it unacceptable.

The essays featured in The Jewish Library put these principles into practice. On the foundation of basic shared commitments Jung assembled thinkers who proposed new ways to understand Judaism and make its meaning and message relevant to moderns. This included the reasons for the mitzvoth, reconciling Torah and science while validating both. Jung sought to demonstrate how Jewish ideas could solve contemporary problems such as marital difficulties, labor relations or international law. The series examined music and the arts, Zionism and the re-establishment of a Jewish state. Jewish sources, if properly and sometimes newly analyzed, were shown to have something important and relevant to say. This was part of Jung’s effort to transform the image of Orthodox Judaism from a backward and obscurantist theology into a movement fitted for the present day, which was not only worthy of survival but had to continue because it could contain all that was valuable in Jewish life and thought.

Jung was believed in the importance of role models, and three of the volumes in The Jewish Library were dedicated to biography. Some of these were of highly traditional eighteenth- and nineteenth-century rabbis, such as R. Akiva Eiger, the Hatam Sofer, and R. Hayyim of Volozhin. However, the range of figures is interesting. Two women featured: Sara Bayla and Sara Schenierer, the founder of the Beis Yaakov schools for girls, in its day a revolutionary development. Also included are Hassidic rebbes, such as R. Menahem Mendel of Kotzk and proto-Zionists and Zionists, including Rabbis Isaac Jacob Reines, Tsevi Hirsch Kalischer, and Moshe Avigdor Amiel. He included both his father’s role model, S. R. Hirsch, who promoted Orthodox separatism, and his opponents, Rabbis Seligman Baer Bamburger and Marcus Horowitz, who remained part of pluralistic communities. Jung was particularly keen to celebrate the Orthodox proponents of Wissenschaft, including his own teacher, David Hoffman, but recording the lives of many others, mostly now forgotten such as Rabbis Joseph Duenner of Amsterdam and Joseph Carelbach of Hamburg. They were exemplars of the type of Jewish study Jung was trying to promote: they were pious, observant, believing Jews who nevertheless engaged in Jewish scholarship which departed from traditional conclusions in interesting ways without touching on fundamentals of the faith.

This became Jung’s distinguishing contribution to the effort to maintain and revive Orthodoxy in America. It was widely welcomed in its time, but the views that he espoused have become rather more controversial in recent years. Even within Modern Orthodoxy, there has been a narrowing. Orthodox Wissenschaft is now out of favor, although it still has exponents in Bar Ilan University in Israel, the Bernard Revel Graduate School at Yeshiva University, and among individual scholars elsewhere. Among Orthodox leaders, there is little embrace of the breadth of approaches so enthusiastically promoted by Jung, and there is often outright hostility. This narrowing excludes and delegitimizes, and if we accept Jung’s approach, it does so without any religious necessity. A richer Judaism, Jung’s Judaism, deserves renewed attention.

Joseph Lookstein—Traditional Prayer in an American Sanctuary

Joseph Lookstein was born in Russia in 1902, and after coming to New York at the age of seven, he attended the Jacob Joseph School, City College, and Columbia University.[40] He received his rabbinic ordination from the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary of Yeshiva University in 1926. While still a student, in 1923, he was recommended by the President of Yeshiva University (YU), Bernard Revel, to Ramaz to be his assistant at Kehilath Jeshurun (KJ). It was then a distinguished but declining congregation in need of revitalization. Some years earlier, modernizing forces had secured the appointment of a JTS graduate, Mordecai M. Kaplan, to run the religion school and deliver an English sermon, as Margolies only spoke Yiddish in public.[41] After Kaplan left, the role of an English preacher was maintained, leading eventually to Lookstein’s appointment. Lookstein excelled in the pulpit and became recognised as a star preacher. In due course, Lookstein married Margolies’ granddaughter. As a member of the family, a graduate of YU rather than the JTS and an experienced member of the KJ clergy, Lookstein duly became Senior Rabbi on Margolies’ death in 1936 and served until his own in 1979. In 1937 he founded the Ramaz School, named after his grandfather-in-law; by the time he died it had a roll of 800 students. However, the center of his rabbinate, indeed his life, remained KJ.

Lookstein possessed an absolute confidence in Orthodoxy. He believed that it had a future and the potential to provide a relevant and attractive religious life to contemporary Americans. He told a meeting organized by Young Israel in 1930:

We are now safe in expecting them [young people] to come back to us, and having come back to find their true happiness and their real self-fulfillment through closer identification and through greater intimacy with Traditional Judaism. [42]

In 1930, this was far from clear, but it was a vision, and it was guided in particular by an attitude toward the practice of prayer. Lookstein fashioned a service that he hoped would make Orthodoxy the denomination of choice. By the end of his career he believed he had achieved it. As he wrote to his son and successor Haskel in 1968:

We made Conservatism or Reform unnecessary and undesirable to a substantial number of families in the neighborhood…Some of them would have joined Conservative or Reform temples in their area but found their way to us and would not go elsewhere…[they] have changed their homes to kosher and their entire home to greater Jewishness. Some of these people sent their children to Ramaz and, because of that, these people and their homes will never be the same…All this we were able to do because…our intention was to conduct the kind of public worship that would be as dignified as the most Reform and as pious as worship in a “shteibbel”…we have never violated in our public worship policy, the Jewish law. [43]

Lookstein’s aim was to create a halakhically conforming service, which combined an Americanized aesthetic with traditional religious feeling. In effect Lookstein sought to create an institutional version of himself: Orthodox, halakhic, but as comfortable in the modern world as the rabbi of any other denomination. Lookstein saw himself and his approach as a way, perhaps in modern America, the way, of drawing as wide a group as possible into an Orthodox setting, with the hope that this would have an impact on their wider religious lives. He wrote in a private note “a well conducted service is in itself the best inducement to attendance.” [44]

Lookstein’s achievement depended on a remarkable attention to detail, meticulous planning, and careful reflection. A record was kept of each person called up to the Torah. The running order of the annual communal Seder for the first night of Passover was set out in advance to the utmost precision. To give a few specific examples: In 1954 he determined that the seating of children during the reading of the Book of Esther on Purim was problematic, and therefore “all children should be made to sit in the section reserved for the children. In no circumstances should children be permitted to sit near their parents; experience has demonstrated that in such cases it is impossible to control them and, therefore, there is noise and commotion in the neighborhood where they sit.” Lookstein was prepared to impose tight control on his staff to achieve the outcome he wanted. In 1953, he pronounced that “the cantor must be made to realize that he is the precentor, the leader of a service not the star of a musical performance indulging in recitatives and cantorial obligatos [who] becomes irritating to those who come to pray and is religiously distracting.”

Every year after the High Holiday services, he would circulate a memorandum that identified what had gone well, what badly, and what ought to be changed. In 1953, he wrote three long notes on changes to the weekday, Sabbath, and High Holiday services in order to increase their appeal. The weekday morning service was not to last more than 45 minutes, if need be by eliminating, shorting, or replacing with English readings some less essential sections, such as the scriptural references to sacrifices in the early part of the service and the supplications (tahanun) after the Amida. The evening service was to be read earlier than nightfall for the convenience of members. The timings of each section of the Sabbath service were set out, so that the entire service lasted no longer than three hours. Responsive and communal reading was introduced to maintain participation. Lookstein ruled that there should never be more than seven men called to the Torah to prevent the reading being extended. He decided that “the opening of the KN [Kol Nidre] service should have a dramatic touch…Perhaps some sort of procession ought to open the service.” Over the course of the High Holiday services there were to be fewer openings of the Ark, to avoid constant standing up and sitting down on the part of the worshippers.[45] Lookstein’s care was minute, extending to the cleanliness of the bathrooms, the shine of the brass fittings, and the condition of the prayer books.

Lookstein’s vision was strikingly similar to the policy of the religious leaders of centrist Orthodoxy in Europe. The presence of figures such as Moses Hyamson from London, serving at the nearby Orach Chayim, and Leo Jung and David de Sola Pool on the other side of Central Park brought these ideas from Britain to New York, and provided a model. Special services, for example, had long played a part in Anglo-Jewish life, to mark coronations, national days of prayer, and the like. KJ instituted services for the Sabbaths before Mothers’ and Fathers’ Day. In common with Shearith Israel, KJ marked Thanksgiving with a special liturgy, delivered by cantor and choir and featuring a guest speaker. This was prayer with a purpose. As a congregational writer explained, “the service on that occasion offers us an opportunity for the integration of Judaism and Americanism and enables us to give to a national holiday a religious flavor and significance.” [46]

Lookstein’s approach worked. When he arrived at KJ, the Upper East Side community was suffering from an exodus to the West Side. The problems were exacerbated by the Great Depression, which reduced membership and other contributions. By the early 1930s, the budget had fallen by two thirds and the congregation was forced to take out a mortgage. Lookstein rebuilt the congregation from this low ebb. From around 1940, the community began to grow again, and by 1946, there were 250 member families and 700 seat-holding families.[47] Lookstein remained obsessed with numbers and kept a weekly tally of attendance.[48] Most remarkably Lookstein was able to attract this strong following even though he refused to bend on the issue of mixed seating, which many Orthodox synagogues introduced because they came to belief it was essential to their survival. Lookstein showed it was not.[49] By the late 1960s, this vision was under attack in the world of New York Orthodox Judaism, which Haym Soloveitchik documented in his important article, “Rupture and Reconstruction.” [50] As Ferziger has noted, Lookstein wrote the 1968 memorandum to his son because he feared that his concept was in danger of being overturned by a growing tendency toward religious extremism, what is now called the “swing to the right.” Toward the end of his career, Lookstein was attempting to defend his achievement from that threat, which he viewed as endangering both a vision of Orthodoxy and a successful strategy for KJ.

Joseph Lookstein’s contribution to the stabilizing and early revival of Orthodoxy in an American setting was to take the central practice of a synagogue, prayer, and find a way to combine the essentials of tradition with an attractive form. This was not Lookstein’s invention. He had Western European models to work from, some in New York, and he had like-minded colleagues, but he was one of the most active and important proponents in America of this approach. Lookstein believed that public worship which engaged with modern tastes and wider society could be a powerful draw for Orthodoxy, and in the case of KJ, he succeeded. Each place and time calls for a different type of engagement, but the underlying principle remains Lookstein’s.

Herbert S. Goldstein—Religious Community

Herbert S. Goldstein was born in New York in 1890. [51] He was raised in an observant household keen to become Americanized, and unlike many others of his generation, he was always more comfortable in English than Yiddish. He attended Etz Chaim Yeshiva and public school before entering Columbia University with a view to becoming a lawyer. However, he was inspired by Joseph Mayer Asher, the Enlightened Orthodox rabbi of Orach Chaim on the Upper East Side of Manhattan to enter the rabbinate. Asher was also the professor of homiletics at the JTS and one of its few remaining ties to Orthodoxy. Goldstein was caught on the cusp of two emerging movements: American Conservative Judaism and American Modern Orthodox Judaism. However, there was still no American alternative to the Seminary for a broadly traditional but Westernized rabbinical training. Goldstein entered the JTS 1910 but was never entirely at home. He clashed with Solomon Schechter and the increasingly radical professor of homiletics, Mordecai M. Kaplan. Goldstein supplemented his studies at the JTS with private tuition and received ordination from both the Seminary and a Lower East Side Orthodox rabbi, Rabbi Shalom Elchanan Jaffe.

Goldstein became the first Orthodox rabbi to be ordained in America and took his first job after graduation as Rabbi Margulies' Assistant Rabbi at Kehilath Jeshurun, but his ambitions were wider. As one of the small number of committed Orthodox Jews from an immigrant background who was also thoroughly Americanized, Goldstein was able to diagnose the problem Orthodoxy faced in America. It was largely Yiddish speaking and based around small synagogues in the Eastern European style. The new, American-born generation rejected such Judaism as foreign. If they were to remain committed to Judaism, they had to be given a way to do so consistent with their American identity. Reform and Conservative Judaism provided that, and Goldstein set himself the task of doing the same for Orthodoxy. Indeed with his JTS background, Goldstein was acutely aware of the challenge from the emergent Conservative Judaism, and was determined to combat it, as he told the Orthodox Union in 1927, “there has crept in a new group, guilty of breaking up the Jewish people into further disunity. They flirt with Reform in practice, and prate about Conservatism on paper…these self-styled Conservatives—these misnomers, the disguised radicals and reformers have not the courage to describe themselves as they are.” [52]

Goldstein believed that had to be a new generation of leaders and a new vision to end the decline of Orthodoxy. As Goldstein told the Orthodox Union in 1933: “Our synagogues and schools are in a woeful condition… the soul of the Jew is being starved. Synagogues have become devoid of their religious leader and whole communities are simply drifting into despair…Our religious and educational plight is a lamentable one.” [53] Goldstein prosecuted his agenda through a variety of means, but his main contribution was establishing a new type of synagogue. Unlike Lookstein who was prepared to work within established institutions, Goldstein wanted to break out of existing structures and found not only a new synagogue but a new type of synagogue.

As early as 1916, Goldstein was agitating for a new synagogue model. It was a type that would emerge in several forms, for example, in the Jewish Center in its first iteration under Mordecai Kaplan. [54] Kaplan wanted to bring the religious, educational, and social together to provide a total Jewish experience in one place, but stated candidly that although they would be under the same roof, he did not propose integration of the religious and the social. Kaplan’s Jewish Center was designed to allow Jews to worship and study, and then to socialize, but without attempting to create a symbiosis between the two.[55] Kaplan was interested in fostering Jewish peoplehood, of which the religious (in the traditional sense) was just one element. By contrast, Goldstein explicitly framed his model as an engine for Orthodoxy, in which young Jews who came for social and cultural purposes would be exposed to a form of Orthodox Judaism that appealed and to which they could commit.

Goldstein envisaged a single institution that would combine the functions of the traditional synagogue, the Hebrew school, and the Young Men’s Hebrew Association (YMHA), which ran the sort of social and cultural events Goldstein wanted to serve as the major attraction for his new synagogue. The inclusion of the YMHA was the most radical move. Such associations were not committed to particular ritual practice and often distanced themselves from Orthodoxy, but Goldstein argued that Jewish continuity depended not only on an attractive synagogue and appealing Hebrew classes but on making the synagogue a “place where men and women can come after plying their daily cares and spend a social hour in an Orthodox environment and in a truly Jewish atmosphere.”[56] Goldstein’s aim was to make this expanded synagogue the center of the social lives of young Jews as a means to religious revival. He claimed that his model would “religionize the whole of social life” and would thereby “bear a generation of knowing Jews and Jewesses, who will be imbued with the ideals and practices of their people, and who will ever strive to make the future of Israel as glorious as its past.” [57] This was a new model, but like other self-conscious advocate of “Orthodoxy” Goldstein presented his approach as a return to the past: “This institution would be a revival of the historic synagogue. The synagogue of old was the center for prayer, study and the social life of the community, all in one. The restoration of this type of synagogue would spell the salvation of Judaism.” [58]

The result was the creation in 1917 of the first establishment of its type, the Institutional Synagogue (IS). Its constitution set out Goldstein’s vision of a comprehensive institution: “The objects and purpose of the corporation shall be to…to maintain a building and equipment for religious, educational, social, civic and physical Jewish activities.”[59] Goldstein left Kehilath Jeshurun to be its rabbi, led membership and fundraising campaigns, and was soon able to spend over $300,000 renovating a building and equipping it with a gymnasium, swimming pool, and locker rooms, as well as the more predicable sanctuary and classrooms. Some of the financial support came from men such as Jacob Schiff, himself a Reform Jew, but one always eager to support initiatives to Americanize immigrants who would never feel comfortable with Reform. He was a major beneficiary of the JTS for just this reason and he gave Goldstein $50,000 for his new building.[60] Although Goldstein wanted to make Americans Orthodox, he was able to exploit Schiff’s desire to make the Orthodox American.

Although Goldstein’s principal insight was the need to create a vibrant communal center, connected to but outside the sanctuary, like others he understood that religious services had to change in order to attract the young. He struck a much less formal note than Jung and Lookstein. The service was decorous but not stuffy; it was run by young men; the cantor was tuneful but not operatic; and sermons were reduced to ten minutes with regular guest speakers to interest the crowd. [61] Social groups were at the core of Goldstein’s vision. In addition to the usual Sisterhood, a Brotherhood was formed. It met for dinner every Monday night to create a real feeling of camaraderie. There were popular Bible classes, visits to the gym, and baseball games in which Goldstein would take part, developing his image as “one of the boys” rather than a distant source of authority. [62]

Goldstein was an executive rabbi. He was not a member of the Board of the synagogue, but he attended and participated in most meetings. The congregation’s cantor described him as “the power on the throne and the power behind the throne.”[63] However Goldstein managed to make members feel actively involved in the life of the synagogue by encouraging congregants to form clubs under the IS umbrella. Any 15 members could form a club and at their height, there were 67 such clubs. The clubs developed leadership and organization skills among the youth and adults, and Goldstein himself modeled the role by leading some clubs, hosting others in his home, and visiting each one from time to time. The clubs reinforced the values of the synagogue through the requirement that each meeting open with a Bible study.[64] As with many other acculturated synagogues at the time, the IS hosted dances. They raised funds, encouraged marriage within the faith and within the synagogue, and attracted new members. Whatever qualms Goldstein may have had about the strict religious propriety of mixed dances he understood their practical value. Mrs. Goldstein was clear that her objective was “to keep Jewish boys dancing with Jewish girls.”[65]

After only a decade in existence, the IS found its Harlem neighborhood emptying out of Jews. In 1926, a branch was established on the West Side and 400 people attended its first High Holiday services. It became clear that the future for the IS lay further south, and by 1929, members of the branch were contributing four times as much financial support as the Harlem members. For a while Goldstein divided his time before transferring his work to the West Side Institutional Synagogue full time. He was uninterested in sentiment. He set out what he wanted to achieve and was determined to accomplish it, even if this upset some members of the Harlem synagogue.[66] He demonstrated that Orthodoxy could be innovative, encourage a broad range of interests, provide an attractive social setting, while still promoting traditional Jewish life. It was bold to turn the synagogue into a complete social, cultural, and health center, and bold, too, to try to infuse religious values into each of those activities.


Pool, Jung, Lookstein, and Goldstein came from different backgrounds, and they had different personal styles and interests. However, they all made a choice to serve Orthodox Judaism in a time and a place in which Orthodoxy seemed doomed. They each believed they could reverse the trend. By the end of their careers in the 1970s, Orthodoxy was recovering in confidence, and its numbers were holding steady. They were not solely responsible for this change, but their careers marked a turning point. Religious leaders need a full range of tools to address whatever problems come before them, and the inter-War figures we have examined developed approaches that could be of use. They advocated an Orthodoxy without fear, but one of wide vision and confidence. They shared an attitude, a persuasion, and they found success.
David de Sola Pool demonstrated the power of a warm and positive faith. Intellectual sophistication has sometimes been equated with angst and suffering. Pool rejected that approach. He saw wholesomeness in the committed Jewish life. By no means was his Judaism empty of content, however his religious message did not depend on sophisticated analysis; it spoke about the inner religious life of the personal experience of the love of God. In an age when Chabad and other Hareidi outreach organizations attract followers through the simplicity of their message, an over-analyzed and anxious Modern Orthodoxy will struggle. A return to the immediacy and joy of Pool’s message may help address that deficiency.
Leo Jung began as an original scholar and although he continued to write essays and articles, he soon found his calling as an editor, presenting the work of others to a wide audience. The Jewish Library was a demonstration that Orthodoxy could be as sophisticated in thought as any other denomination. By recruiting leading scholars and scientists of the Orthodox present and by drawing attention to the brilliant minds of the Orthodox past, Jung impressed the men and women who would comprise the Orthodox future. For those who seek a subtle and nuanced approach to Judaism, Jung’s approach is still a model. There were those who search now as they sought in Jung’s time, and if Modern Orthodoxy is to fulfill its purpose and reach its natural constituency it might do well to emulate Jung.
Joseph Lookstein was known for his brilliance as a speaker, and although he took tremendous pains over his sermons, his greatest efforts were spent in turning Kehilath Jeshurun into a sanctuary that attracted Americanized Jews. Through judicious changes to the service that were consistent with halakha, he turned a declining community into a flagship synagogue. His achievement was based on the belief that Orthodoxy could be made attractive, and once it was modern Jews would find their natural home. His confidence in his vision of a halakhic but sophisticated prayer service was vindicated by his finding a following even without introducing mixed seating. Few Jews today are attracted to a service like the highly formal one Lookstein developed at KJ, although it still has a constituency. But contemporary Jews they can be engaged by the same spirit that animated Lookstein—a willingness to be creative within halakhic parameters for the sake of a larger goal, the success and continuity of Orthodoxy.
The most iconoclastic of the four figures is the last, Herbert Goldstein. He was the first to establish a synagogue on a new model, where every aspect of a Jew’s religious, educational, and social life could be addressed. This is not because he regarded athletics and drama as ends in themselves, but because they provided a way to reach the many young Jews who had dismissed Orthodoxy as an outdated relic of their parents’ generation. By making the synagogue the place where they wanted to go, at first for social and recreational activities but then for study and prayer, Goldstein eventually reached 3,000 people per week. He showed that Orthodoxy thrived on innovation and that it is possible to harness modern techniques for traditionalist purposes. There is currently an impatience with inherited structures. To give just one example, the success of the independent minyan movement has to be reckoned with. These are generally not Orthodox, but Orthodox leaders with Goldstein’s boldness could adapt their form, or develop an equaling compelling one of their own and seek to replicate not only Goldstein’s technique but also his success.
This study is neither an exercise in counterfactuals nor in hagiography. It is not intended to show that our quartet, or any other figure from the past could have negotiated successfully the challenges of today, or that they were uniquely able and effective. What I hope I have demonstrated is that they were significant figures whom contemporary Modern Orthodox leaders should take seriously. They operated in particularly difficult circumstances and their achievements were substantial. They also show the powerful potential of visionary leadership and the crucial role leaders can play. The challenges of Modern Orthodoxy today are different but in some ways equally grave. Other figures, from both before and after their have much to contribute. However, it is also right to make space at the table for Pool, Jung, Lookstein, and Goldstein, and more importantly for new leaders in their mold.

[1] I am grateful to the Tikvah Fund for supporting the research, writing, and publication of this article, and to the Fellows and staff, in particular Neal Kozodoy, for their comments on earlier versions.
[2] See my discussion of the problems of denominational labels in Benjamin J. Elton, Britain’s Chief Rabbis and the Religious Character of Anglo-Jewry 1880–1970 (Manchester 2009), 17.
[3] M. Breuer, Modernity Within Tradition, (New York, 1992) 22.
[4] American Hebrew, December 19, 1884, 84.
[5] Arthur Kiron, “Varieties of Haskalah: Sabato Morais’s Program of Sephardi Rabbinic Humanism in Victorian America” in Ross Brann and Adam Sutcliffe (eds.), Renewing the Past, Reconfiguring Jewish Culture: From Al-Andalus to the Haskalah (Philadelphia 2004), 136.
[6] There has been a volume of important work on this issue, see for example Samuel Heilman, “Constructing Orthodoxy” in T. Robbins and D. Anthony (eds.) In Gods We Trust (New Brunswick, 1981) 150–151; “The Many Faces of Orthodoxy, Part 1” Modern Judaism (2:1 February 1982), 23–52; and “The Many Faces of Orthodoxy, Part 2” Modern Judaism (2:2 May 1982), 171–198.
[7] Samuel Heilman, “How did fundamentalism manage to infiltrate contemporary orthodoxy,” Contemporary Jewry (2005, 25), 261–262.
[8] On the evolution of the JTS, see Jack Wertheimer (ed.) Tradition Renewed (New York, 1997), volume 1, chapters 2–5, 28–30.
[9] For the late-nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century context, see Jeffrey S. Gurock, American Jewish Orthodoxy in Historical Perspective (Hoboken, NJ, 1996); “Resisters and Accommodators: Varieties of Orthodox Rabbis in America, 1886–1983,” in The American Rabbinate: A Century of Continuity and Change, 1883–1983 (New York, 1985), 10–97; “Twentieth-Century American Orthodoxy’s Era of Non-Observance, 1900–1960,” The Torah u-Madda Journal IX (2000), 87–107; “American Judaism between the Two World Wars;” Columbia History of Jews and Judaism in America, Marc Lee Raphael, ed. (New York 2008), 93–113; and his Orthodox Jews in America (Bloomington 2009), especially chapters 4 and 5; Jenna Weissman Joselit, New York’s Jewish Jews (Bloomington 1990).
[10] Jacob J. Schacter, “Words of Tribute” in Jacob J. Schacter (ed.), Reverence, Righteousness and Rahamanut, (Northvale NJ 1992), 2.
[11] Jeffrey S. Gurock, Orthodox Jews in America (Bloomington, 2009) 208.
[12] Ibid., 211.
[13] Marshal Sklare, America’s Jews (New York, 1971), 4.
[14] I am grateful to Jonathan Silver for referring me to Irving Kristol’s The Neoconservative Persuasion (Gertrude Himmelfarb ed.) (Philadelphia, 2011), which models the role of a persuasion (as distinct from a specific manifesto or doctrine) in approaching issues and problems.
[15] In addition to the sixteen volumes (some revisions of earlier volumes) published in the two series of the Jewish Library between 1928 and 1980, see his collections of sermons, which include Living Judaism (New York, 1927); Toward Sinai (1929); Crumbs and Character (New York 1942).
[16] See Adam S. Ferziger, “The Lookstein Legacy: An American Orthodox Rabbinical Dynasty?,” Jewish History, 13:1 (Spring, 1999), 127–14,; Norman Lamm, “Eulogy for Rabi Joseph H. Lookstein” in Leo Landman (ed.) Joseph H.Lookstein Memorial Memorial Volume (Hoboken, NJ, 1980), 7–14.
[17] See Aaron I. Reichel, The Maverick Rabbi—Rabbi Herbert S. Goldstein and the Institutional Synagogue, (New York, 1984).
[18] See David de Sola Pool, “David de Sola Pool” in Thirteen Americans: Their Spiritual Autobiographies Louis Finklestein (ed.) (New York, 1953), 201–217; An Old Faith in the New World (New York, 1955), 202–208 ; Nima Adlerblum, “Reflections on the Life and Work of Rabbi David de Sola Pool” Tradition 30:1 (Fall 1995), 7–16.
[19] David de Sola Pool, “David de Sola Pool” in Thirteen Americans: Their Spiritual Autobiographies Louis Finklestein (ed.) (New York 1953), 204–205.
[20] David de Sola Pool, “David de Sola Pool” in Thirteen Americans: Their Spiritual Autobiographies Louis Finklestein (ed.) (New York 1953), 206.
[21] Rabbi David de Sola Pool: Selections from Six Decades of Sermons, Addresses and Writings, Marc D. Angel (ed.) (New York, 1980), 59.
[22] David de Sola Pool, “David de Sola Pool” in Thirteen Americans: Their Spiritual Autobiographies Louis Finklestein (ed.) (New York, 1953), 207–208.
[23] David de Sola Pool, “David de Sola Pool” in Thirteen Americans: Their Spiritual Autobiographies Louis Finklestein (ed.) (New York, 1953), 207.
[24] Major works by Pool include “The Place of God in Modern Life” Columbia University Quarterly (24, June 1932), 194–205; Why I Am A Jew (New York, 1957); Is There An Answer? (New York, 1966); Rabbi David de Sola Pool: Selections from Six Decades of Sermons, Addresses and Writings, Marc D. Angel (ed.) (New York, 1980).
[25] Rabbi David de Sola Pool: Selections from Six Decades of Sermons, Addresses and Writings, Marc D. Angel (ed.) (New York, 1980), 18.
[26] Ibid., 82.
[27] See David de Sola Pool, Why I Am A Jew (New York, 1957), 75–80.
[28] Ibid., 41.
[29] Ibid., 83–84.
[30] Ibid., 89.
[31] See Nima H. Adlerblum, “Loe Jung” in The Leo Jung Jubilee Volume Menahem M. Kasher, Norman Lamm, Leonard Rosenfeld (eds.), (New York, 1962), 1–40; Marc Lee Raphael, “Rabbi Leo Jung and the Americanization of Orthodox Judaism” in Schacter (ed.), Reverence, Righteousness and Rahamanut, 21–91; Maxine Jacobson, Trends in Modern Orthodoxy as Reflected in the Career of Rabbi Dr. Leo Jung, Unpublished doctoral dissertation (Concordia University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, 2004); Leo Jung, Path of a Pioneer (New York, 1980), although the reader should be aware that it is not always reliable.
[32] On Meir Tsevi Jung see Gershon Bader and Moses Jung, “Meir Tsevi Jung” in Leo Jung (ed.) Jewish Leaders (Jerusalem, 1953), 297–316.
[33] Fallen Angles in Jewish, Christian and Mohammedan Literature (Philadelphia 1926); Yoma in Isidore Epstein (ed.) The Babylonian Talmud (London 1938). Jung’s collections of sermons include Living Judaism (New York, 1927); Toward Sinai (1929); Crumbs and Character (New York, 1942). See the bibliography in Raphael, “Rabbi Leo Jung,” especially 79–80 and 88–91.
[34] L. Jung (ed.) The Jewish Library First Series ( New York, second edition revised 1943), vii.
[35] Ibid., 7–8.
[36] Leo Jung , “The Rabbis and Freedom of Interpretation” in Guardians of our Heritage, Leo Jung (ed), New York 1958, 5–30.
[37] Ibid., 6.
[38] Ibid., 8–9.
[39] Ibid., 12.
[40] See Adam S. Ferziger, “The Lookstein Legacy: An American Orthodox Rabbinical Dynasty?,” Jewish History, 13:1 (Spring, 1999), 127–214,; Norman Lamm, “Eulogy for Rabi Joseph H. Lookstein” in Leo Landman (ed.) Joseph H. Lookstein Memorial Memorial Volume (Hoboken, NJ 1980), 7–14.
[41] Jenna Weissman Joselit, “The Middle-Class American Jewish Woman” in Jack Wetheimer (ed.) The American Synagogue, a Sanctuary Transformed (Cambridge, 1987), 219–220.
[42] Joseph H. Lookstein papers, Yeshiva University Library, box 45.
[43] Quoted in Ferziger, “The Lookstein Legacy,” 130–131.
[44] Joselit, “The Middle-Class American Jewish Woman,” 220.
[45] Joseph H. Lookstein papers, Yeshiva University Library, box 41.
[46] Schlang (ed.), Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun, 93–94.
[47] Joseph H. Lookstein, “Seventy Five Yesteryears,” in Schlang (ed.), Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun, 31–32.
[48] Ferziger, “The Lookstein Legacy,” 135.
[49] See Jonathan Sarna, “The Debate over Mixed Seating in the American Synagogue” in Jack Werthiemer (ed.), The American Synagogue: A Sanctuary Transformed (New York 1987), 363–394.
[50] Haym Soloveitchik, “Rupture and Reconstruction: The Transformation of Contemporary Orthodoxy” Tradition 28:4 (Summer 1994), 64–130.
[51] See Aaron I. Reichel, The Maverick Rabbi—Rabbi Herbert S. Goldstein and the Institutional Synagogue, (New York 1984).
[52] Herbert S. Goldstein papers, Yeshiva University Library, box 8.
[53] Herbert S. Goldstein papers, Yeshiva University Library, box 8.
[54] For more on the idea of a Jewish center see David Kaufman, Shul with a Pool (Hanover, NH, 1999).
[55] Aaron I. Reichel, The Maverick Rabbi—Rabbi Herbert S. Goldstein and the Institutional Synagogue, (New York, 1984), 96.
[56] Aaron I. Reichel, The Maverick Rabbi—Rabbi Herbert S. Goldstein and the Institutional Synagogue, (New York, 1984), 92.
[57] Ibid., 94.
[58] Ibid., 92.
[59] Herbert S. Goldstein papers, Yeshiva University Library, box 1.
[60] Aaron I. Reichel, The Maverick Rabbi—Rabbi Herbert S. Goldstein and the Institutional Synagogue, (New York, 1984), 173–174.
[61] Ibid., 186–191.
[62] Ibid., 224–240.
[63] Ibid., 236.
[64] Ibid., 255–270.
[65] Ibid., 249–254.
[66] Ibid., 305–322.