Cincinnati (Sep. 8)
Dr. David Philipson, noted Jewish scholar and reform leader who celebrated his seventieth birthday last month, is hailed as a great Jew and a lofty personality in an editorial which appears in the current issue of the B’nai B’rith magazine.
The editorial says:
“We congratulate Dr. David Philipson, seventy years old in August…. A great Jew, a lofty personality, a noble citizen.
“He is the nearest living link to the spirit of the saintly Dr. Isaac M. Wise, the prophet of Reform Judaism in America; for he is the last survivor of the first class of the Hebrew Union College of which Dr. Wise was the founder.
“In his venerable self, Reform Judaism takes the mellow character of a traditional religion. He has been the outstanding champion of the purely religious concept of Judaism.
“To him Judaism has been a holy way of life and in all his days, he has taken issue with Jews who have taught that the Jewish way of life is toward a national destiny.
“To hm to be a Jew is to be one who is the heir of prophets, the possessor of a body of ideals which, by his works as a citizen, he must offer to the common good of the country in which he lives.
“That his teaching has not fallen on deaf ears has been made evident by the notable position of the Jews in the public life of Cincinnati, where Dr. Philipson has preached for forty-four years. In that city Jews who grew up under this teaching of Judaism stand foremost as the banner-bearers of those ideals by which Cincinnati has gained a great name for civic righteousness. Jews have been the prophets of a new order that not only has lifted up a city but also has served as an inspiration to all cities that lie helpless in the slough of corruption. In these Jews, Dr. Philipson has seen the fulfilment of his teaching.
“In Dr. Philipson’s city little of anti-Semitism is seen: the Jew is honored in him. These many years, to non-Jewish eyes, he has been the embodiment of the Jewish people of the city who in popular esteem have been given to share something of his character.
“Happy he is to have been permitted to come to ripe age gracefully, in full vigor, his prophetic voice undiminished, still a tower of strength in American Judaism,” the editorial concludes.
Rabbi Louis Rosen, spiritual head of the Sons of Israel Synagogue of Binghamton, N. Y., has resigned.