Menu JTA Search

Jewish Institute of Religion Opens Ninth Academic Year

“The heart of Jewish theology is prophetic enthusiasm and adventure; the heart of other theologies is creedal and priestly. The statement of Jewish theology runs out of the experience of mankind that had a passion for righteousness and a hatred of evil and would build a socially just and justly social world; the statement of other theologies runs out of the declaration of belief and the certainties of another world.”

This was the statement made by Dr. Gerson B. Levi, Rabbi of Temple Isaiah Israel, Chicago, and editor of the Reform Advocate of that city, in an address at the opening of the ninth academic year of the Jewish Institute of Religion last night. The exercises were held in the chapel of the Institute.

Emphasizing the importance of a system of exchange professorships among Jewish institutions of learning in this country, Dr. Levi said:

“American Jewry is powerful enough and key positioned enough to be able to maintain bodies of men, amply supported in the work of research and enrichment of the Wissenschaft of Israel. It is not encouraging to think that in the whole of the glorious community of Israel in America, a community to which the Jewish world is turning more and more for guidance, four million and more, more or less strong, only four or five men in any one corner of research can safely give their time and dedicate their lives to the development of Jewish theology, philosophy, history or rabbinics. A part of the equipment of the researcher is the companionship of other co-workers and pupils.”

Dr. Stephen S. Wise, president of the Jewish Institute of Religion, welcomed the student body, including the nine new students who were chosen from a group of more than seventy applicants to undertake the course of study of preparing for the Rabbinate and the field of Jewish education.

NEXT STORY