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Elias Jacobs Dead at 87

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Elias-Rex Jacobs, for 51 years editor and publisher of the Buffalo Jewish Review, died here last week at the age of 87. He is credited with expanding the Anglo-Jewish weekly from a local chronicle of community events to a newspaper covering national and international affairs of Jewish concern. He also brought to the paper a strong pro-Zionist position in contrast to the anti-Zionist stance of its earlier owners. He retired in 1972.

Jacobs, the youngest of nine children, was born in a village near Vilna, Lithuania and-immigrated to New York with his family at the age of three. He graduated from City College in 1912 and from Columbia University Law School in 1915. He practiced law in New York City even after joining the Navy in 1917. He worked at the Brooklyn Navy Yard by day and maintained his law practice at night.

After World War I, he became an apprentice on the Detroit Jewish Chronicle and in 1920 he moved to Kansas City where he founded the Kansas City Jewish Chronicle. In 1921 he settled in Buffalo and purchased the American Jewish Review which here-named the Buffalo Jewish Review. The paper’s previous owners had appealed to a largely assimilated readership. Jacobs changed its orientation toward immigrant Jews from Eastern Europe who had read the Yiddish language newspapers published in New York City.

During his long career, Jacobs served as a vice president of the American Jewish Press Association, a member of the Buffalo Area Israel Bonds executive committee, president of the Zionist Organization of America Buffalo District and vice president of the Bureau of Jewish Education. He was also president of the Montefiore Lodge of B’nai B’rith, director of the Hebrew Benevolent Loan Association, a member of the organizing committee of the Kadimah School, a board member of the United Jewish Federation and a member of the Jewish War Veterans of the U.S. He was a member of Temple Shaarey Zedek and Congregation Beth Abraham in Buffalo.

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