Sol M. Strook, chairman of the board of directors of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America and chairman of the American Jewish Committee, was awarded yesterday the honorary degree of Doctor of Hebrew Literature at the commencement exercises of the Seminary.
The same degree was also conferred upon Prof. Charles Cutler Torrey, professor emeritus of Semitic languages at Yale University, and Prof. Samuel Landauer, of Augsburg, Germany, professor emeritus in Semitics at the University Strassburg.
Ten graduates received degrees as rabbis.
Addresses were delivered by Dr. Cyrus Adler, president of the Seminary, Prof. Mordecai Kaplan, dean of the Teachers Institute of the Seminary, and Dr. Israel H. Levinthal, rabbi of the Brooklyn Jewish Center and a member of the board of directors of the Seminary.
Prof. Louis Finkelstein delivered the invocation.
URGES RELIGIOUS RESERVOIR
Dr. Adler in his address stressed the importance of religion at this time, when it is attacked both in Soviet Russia and Nazi Germany. He said:
“With the steady attempt on the part of Soviet Russia to save the Jews and destroy Judaism, with the steady attempt on the part of Nazi Germany to destroy the Jews and thereby to destroy Judaism, the obligation upon us in America to create a great reservoir for our religion becomes all the more the highest duty, not only for the salvation of our own souls but for the salvation of our faith for which we have in the past and are in the present engaging in a bitter struggle, not a struggle of violence but a struggle of the spirit.”
Dr. Kaplan said in part:
“The following facts and figures may help to give a concrete idea of what the Teachers Institute and its subsidiaries have achieved during the last twenty-six years. The total number of students who have been graduated is 570. Of these, more than 300 have been engaged at one time or another in teaching in Jewish schools, not only in this city, but also in many communities outside New York. At present about 100 occupy teaching positions, twelve are in high administrative positions as heads of bureaus, twelve are principals of schools, twenty-five are graduates of rabbinical seminaries, and occupy pulpits, and five are center and social workers.”
Dr. Israel Levinthal said:
“The fundamental prerequisite for today’s rabbinic leadership, as it was throughout the past ages, is Jewish learning. The rabbi who is not steeped in the living waters of our Torahâ€”our rich literature of the Biblical and Rabbinic agesâ€”cannot enjoy the influence upon the masses of our people who look to him as their Rabbiâ€”in its literal senseâ€”their teacher and master.”
The following prize-winners were announced:
The Laemmlein Buttenwieser Talmud Prizeâ€””The Date of the Exodus”; value $60. Divided between Eli A. Bohnen and Benjamin Tumim.
The Aaron Friedenwald Prize in Jewish Theologyâ€””The Development of the Concept of the Chosen People”; value $60. Divided between Irwin Hyman and Morris Adler. Honorable Mentionâ€”A. Elihu Michelson and Arthur T. Buch.
The Alexander Kohut Memorial Prizeâ€””The Liturgical References in Seder Nashim”; value $35. Awarded to Irving H. Perman and Philip Pincus, who collaborated. Honorable Mentionâ€”Aaron Decter and Philip Listokin.
The David Scharps Memorial Prize in Talmudâ€”to be awarded to the member of the graduating class who, in the opinion of the Faculty, shows the greatest appreciation and knowledge of the Talmud and the Commentators thereof. Awarded to Morton H. Lewittes: value $100.
The Moses Greenberg Prize in Bibleâ€”Value $100. Divided between Arnold A. Lasker and Judah Nadich.
The Lamport Homiletic Prizeâ€”Value $35. Awarded to Morris Adler.
The Morris Greenberg Prize in Modern Literatureâ€”Value $50. Awarded to Morris Adler. Honorable mention Morton Lewittes.
The William B. Hackenburg Prizeâ€”Value $35. Awarded to Arnold A. Lasker.
The Irving Lehman Prizes in Public Speakingâ€”Value $50. Divided betkeen H. Elihu Rickel and Irwin Hyman.
The Joseph Zubow Memorial Prize in Codesâ€”Value $40. Divided between Meyer Finkelstein and Arnold A. Lasker, Honorable Mentionâ€”Aaron Decter. Irving Ganz, Aaron M. Wise.
The Jacobson Memorial Prize in Hazanutâ€”Value $35. Divided between Jesse Finkle and Benjamin Tumim. Honorable Mentionâ€”Benjamin Kahn and Saul Kraft.
HONORARY DEGREES GIVEN 3 AT INSTITUTE’S EXERCISES
The honorary degree of Doctor of Hebrew Letters was conferred on Mrs. Rebekah Kohut, Prof. Harry Austryn Wolfson of Harvard and Prof. James Alan Montgomery of Pennsylvania at the tenth annual commencement services of the Jewish Institute of Religion yesterday in the institute’s auditorium, 40 West Sixty-eighth Street.
Prof. Wolfson, who occupies the Nathan Littauer chair in Jewish literature and philosophy at Harvard, Prof. Montgomery, an expert in Biblical studies, and Mrs. Kohut, author and social worker, were presented respectively by Judge Julian W. Mack, chairman of the institute board of trustees, Dr. Shalom Suiegel and Dr. Ralph Marcus. The awards were made by Rabbi Stephen S. Wise, president of the institute.
With the auditorium, holding about 400, crowded to overflowing, Dr. Wise charged the graduates not to become professional defenders of the Jewish people, but to struggle for liberty and justice.
Ten graduates received the Master of Hebrew Literature degrees and were ordained as rabbis. Thirteen students were awarded prizes and fellowships. A luncheon in honor of the graduates was held after the exercises at which Frederick L. Guggenheimer presided. Speakers were Judge Mack, Dean Henry Slonimsky, Rabbi Jacob P. Rudin and Abraham I. Jacobson.
Following is the list of graduates awarded the degrees of Master of Hebrew Literature and Rabbi: Jerome R. Malino, Emanuel Green, Abraham Isaac Jacobson, Isadore Shalom Ravetoh, Maxwell Lawrence Sacks, Harold Irving Saperstein, Jerome Unger. Colman Aaron Zwitman and Saul Elchanan White.
In the presence of 500 persons, Congregation B’nai Jeshurun yesterday broughts its religious school year to a close with exercises in the auditorium of the Community Center, 270 West Eighty-ninth St.
Dr. Israel Goldstein, rabbi of the Congregation, presided. Among the speakers were Isidor S. Schweitzer, chairman of the Religious School Board, Edgar H. Bauman and Rabbi Samuel M. Segal, educational director.
Diplomas were awarded to seven graduates of the high school department: Viola E. Buchbinder, Gladys B. Claster, Avram S. Goldstein, Arline S. Hillelson, Madelaine B. Mantell, Maxine J. Mantell and Blanche A. Schwartz.