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Funeral Rites for Vogelstein Will Be Held at Emanu-el Today

September 25, 1934
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Funeral services will be held at 3 o’clock this afternoon at Temple Emanu-El for Ludwig Vogelstein, sixty-three, philanthropist, industrialist and leader of American Reform Jewry, who died Sunday at Mount Sinai Hospital of pneumonia. Rabbi Samuel H. Goldenson will officiate. Interment will take place in Salem Fields Cemetery, Brooklyn.

Death came suddenly to Mr. Vogelstein, who appeared to be in good health last Wednesday, when he attended Yom Kippur services at Temple Emanu-El. On the following day he contracted a severe cold and went to the hospital, where he developed pneumonia on Saturday.


Mr. Vogelstein, who was chairman of the board of the American Metal Company, Ltd., resided at 270 Park avenue. He was unmarried. His survivors are two brothers, the Rev. Dr. Hermann Vogelstein of Breslau, Germany, and Dr. Theodore Vogelstein of London, England; a sister-in-law, Mrs. Julia Braun-Vogelstein of Berlin; and three nephews and a niece.

Born on February 3, 1871, in Pilsen, now part of Czechoslovakia but then in Austria-Hungary, he was educated in primary schools there and later at a gymnasium in Stettin, Prussia. His parents were the Rev. Dr. Heinemann Vogelstein and Rosa Kobrak Vogelstein. He received his early training in the metal trade with the firm of Aron Hirsch & Sons of Halberstadt, for whom he worked prior to coming to this country in 1896.


Long an outstanding figure in Jewish activities in this country, he seldom gave voice to public utterances. Zionism never was able to enlist his sympathy, since he insisted that the Jew should be a loyal citizen of the country in which he resides.

Hitlerism evoked a protest from him, but his expressed disapproval of the excesses of the Nazi regime never was vigorous or calculated to give offense to anyone. He refused repeated invitations of other Jewish leaders, who entreated him to join them in outspoken denunciation of the policies of the Third Reich.


At the time of his death he was a trustee and chairman of the finance committee of Temple Emanu-El, positions he assumed when that congregation was consolidated with Temple Beth-El, of which he had for many years been president and trustee.

He was associated prominently with many other American-Jewish projects. For the last nine years he was chairman of the executive committee of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations. He supported Hebrew Union College, in Cincinnati, with time and money.

For many years he was trustee-at-large and chairman of the finance committee of the Federation for the Support of Jewish Philanthropic Societies. He served the World Union for Progressive Judaism as vice-president and a member of its governing board.

He supported the National Council for Jewish Education, and in 1927 took a prominent part in discussions which led to establishment of an old age retirement fund for rabbis. He was a director of the Jewish Publication Society, whose headquarters are in Philadelphia.

His philanthropies were bestowed upon non-Jewish and Jewish causes. Among frequent gifts to Hebrew Union College was one of $50,000. Hospitals in New York and other cities received substantial donations from him.

His industrial career was international in scope. After coming to this country in 1896 he became agent here for the Hirsch firm, which had employed him in Halberstadt. Subsequently he formed his own company, L. Vogelstein & Co., dealers in metals, which he later incorporated. In 1920 the concern was merged with the American Metal Company, Ltd., and Mr. Vogelstein was named first vice-president of the larger organization, becoming chairman of its executive board in 1924.


Mr. Vogelstein had a part in construction of the largest copper refining plant in Canada in 1929—the $5,000,000 refinery at Copper Cliff, Ont., built by the American Metal Company, Ltd., and the International Nickel Company.

Among his other industrial affiliations were chairmanship of the board and a directorate in the United States Metal Refining Company; a directorate in the American Zinc and Chemical Company; vice-presidency and a directorate in the Climax Molybdenum Company; vice-presidency of Copper Exporters, Inc., and a directorate in the Copper Institute of New York City. He also was a trustee of the Central Savings Bank here and a member of the American Arbitration Association.

Among his clubs were Harmonie, City Midday, Bankers, American, Royal Automobile of London, National Republican, Century Country, New York Bridge Whist and the Metropolitan Opera.


Addressing the council of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations in San Francisco in 1929, he said:

“Bear in mind that we liberals are an insignificant minority, probably not over 400,000 of more than 4,000,000 Jews in America. But ours is an obligation to carry the banner of Judaism in this country. The next generation will witness the absorption into our synagogues of millions who, owing to their later arrival, are still bravely fighting a hopeless battle to maintain a medieval culture in the midst of a Western civilization. We have no quarrel with them, but the transition must be made slowly.”

Among those who paid tribute to Mr. Vogelstein, when informed of his death, were Adolph Lewisohn; Dr. Solomon Lowenstein, executive director of the Federation for the Support of Jewish Philanthropic Societies; Judge Irving Lehman, president of Congregation Emanu-El; Robert C. Stanley, president of the International Nickel Company; Louis S. Cates, president of Phelps Dodge Corporation; Adolph S. Ochs, publisher of The New York Times; Edward H. Clark, president and chairman of the board of Cerro de Pasco Copper Company; Dr. Julian Morganstern, president of Hebrew Union College; Alfred M. Cohn, chairman of the college’s board, and Dr. Israel Goldstein, president of the Jewish Conciliation Court of America, Inc.

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