Columbia University Seeks Professor to Occupy Jewish Chair

Negotiations in behalf of Columbia University with a view to securing a Jewish scholar to occupy the chair for the study of Jewish history, literature and institutions, established by Mrs. Nathan J. Miller of New York are being conducted here.

An offer was made to Dr. Jacob Klatzkin, well known Hebrew scholar and philosopher, author of many books and essays and co-editor of the Eskol Encyclopedia (in Hebrew and German), but it was stated that he had declined to accept the post.

Negotiations have been started with Dr. Ismar Elbogen, one of the leading authorities in Germany on the “Wissenschaft des Judentums.”

Dr. Ismar Elbogen was born at Schildberg, Germany, September 1, 1874. He was educated by his uncle, Jacob Levy, author of the “Neuehebraisches Woerterbuch” and at the gymnasium and the Jewish Theological Seminary in Breslau. He received his doctor’s degree from the Breslau University. He obtained his rabbinical diploma in 1899 and was appointed lecturer on Biblical exegesis and Jewish history at the Collegio Rabbinico Italiano in Florence. In 1902 he became privat-docent at the Lehranstalt fur die Wissenschaft des Judentums, Berlin.

Among his writings are: “Der Tractatus de Intellectus Emendatione und Seine Stellung Innerhalb der Philosophie Spinoza’s,” “In Commemorazi-one di S. D. Luzzatto,” “Die Neueste Construction der Judischen Geschichte,” and many other works.

Dr. Elbogen is a leading member of the Gesellschaft zur Foerderung der Wissenschaft des Judentums.

The chair for the study of Jewish history, literature and institutions was established at Columbia University with the proceeds of an endowment fund of $250,000 provided by Mrs. Nathan J. Miller, New York. Dr. Nicholas Murray Butler, President of Columbia, in announcing the gift on October 15, 1928, declared that “no effort would be spared to secure for this chair the most distinguished scholar available, and that a special committee of members of the University had been entrusted with the duty of surveying the field at home and abroad and of making a suitable recommendation.” He pointed out that with the instruction in religion already given at Columbia, with the array of courses in Christian history, literature and theology provided by the faculty of the Union Theological Seminary, and with the advanced program of research conducted in the various religions of the Orient. Mrs. Miller’s gift would enable Colubia to make notable progress in the field of comparative religion.

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