Rabbi Jonah B. Wise Dies at 77; Was Leader of J. D. C. and U.j. A.
Menu JTA Search

Rabbi Jonah B. Wise Dies at 77; Was Leader of J. D. C. and U.j. A.

Download PDF for this date

Rabbi Jonah B. wise, a founder of the United Jewish Appeal, for many years a leader of the Joint Distribution Committee, an outstanding American Reform rabbi and active worker in behalf of interfaith amity, died here last night at the age of 77. Funeral services will be held tomorrow at the Central Synagogue of New York, whose spiritual guide he has been for 34 years.

The Central Synagogue was established by Rabbi Wise’s father, Rabbi Isaac M. Wise, who founded Reform Judaism in America. The son followed in his father’s footsteps and, in his later years, was frequently referred to as the “elder statesman” of the Reform movement.

Rabbi Wise was a dynamic figure in the tremendous relief and rescue operation for German Jewry, which became a matter of life and death with the advent of Hitler. He went to Germany to establish a temporary relief program until the leadership and resources of the American Jewish community could be mobilized. He was one of the founders of the UJA in 1939 and served as national chairman until 1958 when he was named honorary national chairman.

Founding Funders

The digitization of the JTA Archive would not have been possible without the generous support of the following donors:
  • The Gottesman Fund
  • Righteous Persons Foundation
  • Charles H. Revson Foundation
  • Elisa Spungen Bildner and Robert Bildner, in honor of Norma Spungen
  • George S. Blumenthal
  • Grace and Scott Offen Charitable Fund