Educator, scholar and leader in Jewish affairs, Dr. Cyrus Adler celebrated his seventieth birthday last Wednesday. On his way home by ship from a vacation in California, Dr. Adler will not arrive in New York until next Tuesday.
He is president of the American Jewish committee, which he helped to organize, the Jewish Theological Seminary, the Provisional Committee of the American members of the Administrative Committee of the Jewish Agency for Palestine, and of Dropsie College. For twenty years he was president of the American Jewish Historical Society.
He has been chairman of the publication committee of the Jewish Publication Society of America, of which he was a founder; chairman of the committee on Jewish classics and chairman of a board of scholars which brought out a new translation of the Bible known as the Jewish version. The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, the Philadelphia Board of Education and numerous other organizations have profited from his cooperation and leadership.
Born in the United States, Dr. Adler has become known in many parts of the world for his work on behalf of the Jews. He was also sent as a special commissioner by President Cleveland on a combined diplomatic and scientific mission to the Near East while he was still under thirty. He went to the Paris Peace Conference with Louis Marshall to gain recognition of minority rights for the racial, linguistic and religious minorities in the new countries.
Dr. Adler has achieved prominence in educational activities. When he was twenty-one years old he became a teacher at Johns Hoppins University and later he received his degree of Doctor of Philosophy there in Semitics, Assyriology and allied subjects. Later on he joined the staffs of the Smithsonian Institution and the National Museum. He was one of the editors of the “Jewish Encyclopedia” and has written many books and articles on archaeology, biography and Jewish history.
After Dr. Morais had succeeded in establishing the Jewish Theological Seminary, Dr. Adler lectured there on Biblical archaeology and continued his association with the Seminary through the years. He became acting presdent in 1916 after the death of Dr. Solomon Schechter and assumed the presidency eight years later.
He is the first and only president of the Dropsie College of Hebrew and Cognate Learning, founded under the terms of the will of Moses A. Dropsie twenty-five years ago. Dr. Adler has stimulated his students to do original work by stressing that ripe scholarship can only be the product of sound original and intense research.
As one of the founders of the United Synagogue of America, Dr. Adler belongs to the conservative wing of American Jewry. On the occasion of his sixty-fifth birthday Dr. Adler called upon the Jews in this country to strengthen the Synagogue as the only source from which Judaism must continue to get its sustenance. For to him the Synagogue offers a noble opportunity for reverence and service.
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.