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Unterberg Dies; Philanthropist and Educator

May 2, 1934
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Israel Unterberg, manufacturer, banker, philanthropist and president of the Jewish Education Association, died yesterday morning at his home, 335 West End avenue. He was seventy-one years old. His family was at his bedside when he succumbed in the early morning.

Funeral services for Mr. Unterberg will be held today at 10:30 A. M. at the Unterberg Memorial Building in the Jewish Theological Seminary, with Dr. David de Sola Pool and Dr. Mordecai M. Kaplan officiating. Burial will take place in Washington Cemetery of the Shearith Israel, Cypress Hills.

He is survived by a widow, two sons, David and Clarence, and four daughters, Mrs. I. C. Rubin, Mrs. Edgar J. Nathan, Mrs. Milton J. Powell and Mrs. Samuel Derecktor.

Israel Unterberg led a life filled with adventure in finance and business and at the same time was a quiet leader in the fields of philanthropy and education. His early business success, which enabled him to gain a modest fortune, allowed him to give vent to his charitable feelings.


He was born December 15, 1863, in a small town in Lithuania. He received his early religious education at the home of his grandfather in Europe and from him inherited his love for Jewish life.

Mr. Unterberg came to America at the age of ten. When he was twenty-one, after working with his brother for several years, he went into the shirt business alone, in a small store on Canal street. The New York office of his large shirt business today is located at 40 Worth street, in the Textile Building, of which he was the owner.

Early in his career he branched off into real estate. He was president of the Butchers and Drovers Bank, which subsequently merged with the Corn Exchange Bank.

Early in his life Mr. Unterberg organized and headed a number of synagogues, among them the Derech Emunah, at Arverne, L. I. where for many years he maintained a summer home.


During the World War he was especially active on behalf of Jewish soldiers. He also had been associated for many years with the Montefiore Hospital and Home, serving for twenty-five years as a member of the board of directors there.

His principal interest, however, centered around the promotion of religious training. He was a director of the Jewish Theological Seminary. In 1925, in memory of his parents, he contributed the building that houses the Teachers Institute of the Seminary. The Hebrew University in Jerusalem owes its Chair in Talmudic Philology to him and Mrs. Unterberg.

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