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Rabbi James G. Heller Dies at 79

Rabbi James G. Heller, a leader of Reform Judaism and the American Zionist movement, died here yesterday at the ago of 79. Rabbi Heller had served as president of the Central Conference of American Rabbis, a member of the board of governors of the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion and of the executive committee of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations. He was a president of the Labor Zionist Organization of America and a national chairman of the United Jewish Appeal.

Dr. Heller was born in New Orleans and educated at Tulane University and the HUC-JIR where he was ordained. He held pulpits in Philadelphia and Little Rock, Ark, and was rabbi of the Isaac M. Wise Temple here from 1920-1952. Dr. Heller was also an author and musician. For many years he wrote the program notes for the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. His oratorio. “Watchman. What of the Night,” was performed at the Cincinnati May Festival in 1939. He was a former professor of musicology at the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. Rabbi Heller was the author of a biography of Isaac M. Wise, the founder of American Reform Judaism, and of a history of the Wise Temple.

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