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Julian Morgenstern Dead at 95

December 9, 1976
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Funeral services for Dr. Julian Morgenstern, President Emeritus of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati, Ohio, will be held at the college tomorrow afternoon. He died last Saturday in Macon at the age of 95.

Widely regarded as one of the world’s great Bible scholars, he was president of Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati prior to its merger with the Jewish Institute of Religion in New York from 1921 until his retirement in 1947. During his presidency, the number of students and faculty and the scope of the college grew markedly. During the Hitler period, a dozen European scholars found a haven at HUC, chiefly as a result of Morgenstern’s efforts. After retiring as president of the college, he continued to teach Bible there for a number of years.

Morgenstern won distinction for his writings. His “Amos Studies” are regarded as of fundamental importance for the understanding of the life, times and impact of the Hebrew prophet. Other works included “Ark, the Aphod and the ‘Tent of Meeting’ ” and “The Book of the Covenant.” His “Rites of Birth, Marriage, Death and Kindred Occasions among the Semites,” published when he was 85 years old, became a standard work in the field.

Born in St. Francisville, III., Morgenstern was graduated from the University of Cincinnati in 1901 and a year later was ordained a rabbi at the HUC. He received his doctorate at the University of Heidelberg in 1904.

Morgenstern was president of the American Oriental Society and of the Society of Biblical Literature, a founder and an honorary vice-president of the World Union for Progressive Judaism, honorary president of the Central Conference of American Rabbis and an honorary fellow of the British Society for Old Testament Study.

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