Search JTA's historical archive dating back to 1923

Nathan Lamport, Orthodox Leader and Philanthropist, Dies at Age of Seventy-four

August 15, 1928
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

(Jewish Daily Bulletin)

Nathan Lamport nationally known Orthodox leader and philanthropist, president of the Board of Directors of the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary and donor of $200,000 toward the Yeshiva College now in process of construction, died at his summer residence here late Monday evening. He was 74 years old. Mr. Lamport is survived by his widow, Mrs. Celia Lamport, three sons, Samuel C., Arthur M. and Joseph H., and six daughters, Mrs. Ida Hurewitz. Mrs. Jessic L. Cohen, Mrs. Mildred Rothstein, Mrs. Ethel Bresler, Mrs. Anna Lamport and Mrs. Esther Lamport. He is also survived by his brother Solomon Lamport. active in furthering Jewish education.


Funeral services will be held at 10:30 this morning at the Jewish Center, 131 West 86th Street. The cortege will proceed to the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary, 301 East Broadway, and will then go to the new buildings of the Yeshiva College on Washington Heights. The body will be taken to a receiving vault at Union Fields Cemetery, the family planning to transfer the body for burial in Palestine in the near future beside the grave of Mr. Lamport’s father.

Louis Marshall, in a statement issued to the Jewish Daily Bulletin, eulogized the late Mr. Lamport. “For many years, Nathan Lamport has been a powerful influence for good in this community, stated Mr. Marshall “His has been a life of usefulness. He has stood like a rock, steadfast and uncompromising in his devotion to the spirit of Judaism and has been an honor to it, for he never failed to recognize the importance of hallowing its doctrines and traditions and in inculcating them in the heart and minds of the Jewish youth everywhere.

“He has been generous in his contributions to the cause of education and the upbuilding and maintenance of synagogues and schools and to the relief of our suffering brethren.

“My long acquaintance with him aroused in me feelings of respect and admiration for his uprightness, his piety, his unswerving loyalty to our faith and his communal conscience.”

Dr. Bernard Revel, president of the faculty of the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary, in a statement he gave to the Jewish Daily Bulletin stated: “A great Jew and American has been called to his eternal reward, and the entire house of Israel mourns the departure of Nathan Lamport. His life was consecrated to the service of God and of his fellowmen. An immigrant to this land, with blood of spiritual aristocracy coursing in his veins, student of the Torah and the needs of the time, he dedicated himself, his energies and fortunes, to great and lasting causes, and to inspire others to like endeavor, for the enrichment and spiritualization of life.

“He was blessed with the regard and affection of those who knew him intimately, who knew his sterling worth, the great soul which had its abode in a frail body. When he was struck by a fatal illness from which he rallied for a while, but to which he finally succumbed, prayers for his recovery went up from all who knew him and from all who are concerned about the future of Torah-true life in this land. A scion of sages in Israel, himself a life-long student of the Torah, which was his first and true love, he held as his great concern the future of Israel’s legacy of culture and spirituality, and he joyfully made great and continuous sacrifices for the strengthening of true Jewish life here and throughout the world. God. Israel, the Torah and the Land of Israel, one and indivisible, were the abiding love of his great soul. He translated the exalted Jewish ideals and concepts of life into his daily relationships with God, his family, and his fellowmen. His soul stirred with holy discontent. A God intoxicated man, he ever strove, to his last days, to lift himself to still loftier spiritual heights.

“His henefactions have been many and spontaneous. Mr. Lamport lived to see the partial realization of the vision of a great instrument in the transmission of the divine light of Israel’s Torah and spirituality for the future generations of American Israel, the the house of learning and of the Jewish spirit–the Yeshiva.

“In the chain of Jewish life and tradition, which links us with our glorious past, with Israel of all lands and of all ages, now being forged in this land, his share is honorable and enduring. He takes his place in the unbroken line of Israel’s faithful servants of God. His memory is an inspiration and blessing.” Dr. Revel declared.


The life story of Nathan Lamport is that of an outstanding pioneer in the East European Jewish immigration to the United States. Born in Nowogrodek, Russian Poland, in 1854, the son of Rabbi Zvi Hirsch Lamport, Rabbi of the town of Solowicz, he came to the United States at the age of 23 in 1877 and went the entire gamut of American Jewish life. Bringing with him a sound Orthodox Jewish education from the chedar and yeshivah, he clung tenaciously to the tenets and observances of traditional Judaism throughout his life. With a mounting success in the financial field as a merchant and real estate owner, he assumed larger responsibilities in the field of Jewish learning, took an active interest in the establishment of a number of Talmud Torahs, hospitals and was a liberal contributor to local charities and to drives for European relief and for Palestine.

His principal interest was concentrated in the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary, of which he was president for a great many years, and became one of the principal movers of the project for the estabishment of a combined Yeshiva College, contributing toward this the amount of $200,000, on the occasion of his seventieth birthday, propounding at that time the theory that a man is entitled to “benefit from his own inheritance” by providing during his lifetime for the cause he holds dear. This cause was to him the creation of modern facilities for the continuance of higher Jewish learning in the United States.

Arriving in the United States as a young man, Mr. Lamport settled in Franklin Falls, N. Y. where he was engaged in farming for several years. He later moved to Burlington, Vermont, where he enterede the business field, achieved a marked degree of financial success and was instrumental in organizing the Jewish community and several institutions there.

In 1893 he moved to New York City, where he entered the cotton business, founding the Lamport Manufacturing Company, which is now presided over by his son, Samuel C. Lamport. He later became the president of the Lamport Realty Company and the Bressler Realty Company. Besides his active interest in other institutions, he was a member of the Executive Committee of the Union of the Orthodox Congregations.

Several years ago, on the occasion of his son, Samuel C. Lamport’s visit to Palestine, he established the Lamport Free Loan Association of Palestine for which he undertook to provide a fund of $250,000. An amount of $100,000, it was stated yesterday, was already forwarded to Palestine to Chief Rabbi A. J. Kook to be placed at the disposition of the free loan association.

The offices of the American Jewish Congress have been removed to new quarters on the 14th floor of 33 West 42nd Street, near Fifth Avenue.

Recommended from JTA