Cyrus L. Sulzberger, one of the famous band of leaders of American Jewry, which included Jacob H. Schiff, Oscar Strauss, Louis Marshall, Nathan Strauss, and Meyer Sulzberger, died last night at the age of 74.
The number of communal offices which he held in his time was amazing. He had been President of the Jewish Agricultural. And Society, the United Hebrew Charities, the National Conference of Jewish Charities, Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Bureau of Jewish Social Research, Director of the Jewish Publication Society of America, member of the Executive Committee of the American Jewish Committee, of which he was one of the founders, Treasurer of the Federation of Jewish Philanthrepic Societies, Organising Secretary of the American Jewish Relief Committee, and active in many other Jewish, general and political bodies.
The Sulzberger family, which derives its name from the town of its origin, Sulzbuerg, hear Ratisbon, in Bavaria, has given a great many leaders to American Jewry, including Dr. Kaufmann Kohler and Dr. Cyrus Adler, in addition to Judge Meyer Sulzberger, who in his time was the head of the American Jewish Community, and Cyrus L. Sulzberger.
Cyrus Sulzberger’s son, Arthur Hays Sulzberger, is a son-in-law of Mr. Adolf Ochs, the publisher and owner of the “New York Times”, of which he is Vice-President and Director.
Many, many thousands of Jews in America who are the pillars of their communities in hundreds of American cities owe their present financial solidity, their social status, to Cyrus L. Sulzberger, Mr. A. H. Fromenson wrote at the time when Mr. Sulzberger attained his 70th. birthday in 1928. From Albany to Seattle westward, and from Baltimore to El Paso, the handiwork of Cyrus L. Sulzberger is visible. If in nearly 2,000 cities there are thriving Jewish communities composed of men and women who from harried, hunted, helpless, despairing refugees have since the days of their flight to this country from pogroms and economic helplessness become prosperous merchants, successful professional men, pillars of synagogues, trustees of temples, leaders of federations, have seen their sons and daughters graduate from colleges and universities and attain distinction, they owe it all to him as the head of the Industrial Removal Office, to the Galveston Movement, which diverted the immigrant from New York City and dispersed him for his own good all over the United States.
He was among the first, the writer went on, who discovered the great social service qualifications of men like David M. Bressler, Jacob Billikopf, Morris Waldman, Dr. Lee K. Frankel, Dr. Solomon Loewenstein, Dr. Boris Bogen, and many others of the leading workers in American Jewry.
Never an avowed Zionist, he continued, the Zionist Organisation always had in him a friend, especially in those days when to be a Zionist was not altogether a pleasant thing. Unable to go along with Zionism in its political implications, he always recognised its cultural value to American Jewry, and when anti-Zionism for a time sought to become militant in its attitude, he, like Louis Marshall, Oscar Strauss, and Felix M. Warburg, stood staunchly by that group of fanatic youngsters who were jeopardising their careers for an ideal.
He went to Palestine to see for himself. He was active in raising funds for the Hebrew University. He contributed to Zionist funds. That was characteristic of Cyrus L. Sulzberger, just as it was characteristic of him to address Zionist meetings and to say there publicly that he was not a Zionist.
It was characteristic of him, too, that he was one of the organisers of the American Jewish Committee. It was also he and Nathan Bijur, who lifted Jewish philanthropy to its present dignity; who eliminated from the United Hebrew Charities the pauperisation which it practised in its earlier days. To him, too, must be credited the rearing of that greatest of all Jewish philanthropic organisations, the New York Federation.
Mr. Sulzberger was also interested in the Jewish press in America, and he was one of the founders of the “American Hebrew,” which has now passed its 50th. year, and he was for many years one of the group of seven or eight who edited and produced the paper.
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.