Jacob Grossman (1887-1971), Papers.

  • Dates: ca. 1905-1975
  • Size: 2.0 linear ft.
  • Number of Boxes: 2
  • Languages:
    • English
    • Yiddish
  • Location: Special Collections Reading Room, Jewish Theological Seminary Library.
  • Restrictions: Reproduction of fragile items is not permitted; consult the archivist about literary rights.
  • Gift Of: Rabbi H. Meirovich

NTL, 11/26/92; rev. JM, 12/7/92.


Table of Contents:


A Note on Folder Headings

Individual folders are identified in the following way on the left side of each folder: Name of Collection, box #/folder#, as in Ben Zion Bokser Papers, 4/22. Please use this format in citations and when referring to files for any other reason.


Biographical Note

Jacob B. Grossman was a rabbi, educator, summer camp director, and hospital chaplain. He was born in Russia in 1886, and emigrated to the United States with his family. Grossman received a BA from Columbia University in 1908; rabbinic ordination from The Jewish Theological Seminary in 1911; and an MA from Teachers College, Columbia University in 1916. In 1911-1912 Grossman spent a year as a fellow at Dropsie College in Philadelphia. During that year he was superintendent of Gratz College's School of Observation and Practice.

From 1912 to 1923 Rabbi Grossman worked at the Educational Alliance on New York's Lower East Side, serving as the head of its Department of Religious Work, principal of its Hebrew school, and rabbi of its Young People's Synagogue.

Rabbi Grossman's rabbinic career began at Temple Beth El in Manhattan Beach, Brooklyn. He also served as principal of the Hebrew School of Temple Emanu-El, Borough Park, also in Brooklyn. In 1927 he was appointed rabbi at Temple Shaareh Tefilah in Flushing, Queens. In 1936 he left that congregation for Temple Beth Elohim in the Bronx where he remained until 1946 when he returned to the Educational Alliance, remaining there until 1951.

Rabbi Grossman's later career included periods as interim Rabbi for Temple Beth El, Richmond, Virginia, 1951, and for Temple Beth El, Buffalo, New York, 1951-1952. In 1952 he moved to a synagogue in Ashtabulah, Ohio, remaining there for two years. Rabbi Grossman's last position was as chaplain of Bird Coler Hospital on Welfare (now Roosevelt) Island, New York.

In 1924 Grossman and his wife Pauline founded Camp Tabor in Lake Como, Pennsylvania. The camp, whose motto was "A Jewish camp with a Jewish soul" was first for girls, but later admitted girls and boys. It was subsequently purchased by Camp Ramah.

In 1924 Grossman became the National Educational Director of the United Synagogue of America.

In 1914 Grossman married Pauline Cohen, a teacher from New York. They had three sons, Raphael, Jonathan, and David. The Grossmans sent their sons to Palestine to study - as documented by letters in this collection - and in 1924 and 1959 Grossman traveled to Palestine himself. Grossman traveled to Russia in 1936 and 1956. The second trip was sponsored by the New York Board of Rabbis.

Jacob Grossman died in 1971.


Collection Description

Rabbi Jacob Grossman's papers are divided into two series: sermon files, 1905-1975, and alphabetical subject files, 1913-1975 (all dates are approximate).

The sermon files contain notes for and drafts of Rabbi Grossman's own sermons, as well as information gathered by him presumably for use in sermons. Included are texts of sermons by others, letters, synagogue bulletins, clippings from newspapers (some in Yiddish) and Jewish publications, and other printed material. The largest group of sermons are those for the high holidays, Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur. Sermon topics, in addition to the weekly Torah portion, include such issues as nationalism, communism, the formation of the state of Israel, atomic weapons, Jewish identity and Jewish education.

The subject files contain a mixture of clippings, pamphlets, letters, photographs, and other material gathered or accumulated by Rabbi Grossman, ca. 1905-1974. This material documents aspects of Grossman's personal and professional lives, as well as his interests.

Included is some personal and biographical material, including correspondence with his sons during their stay in Palestine; records of marriages performed, ca. 1920s-1940s; minimal material about Camp Tabor, mainly correspondence and documents having to do with a an outbreak of typhoid in the camp in 1929, a list of campers, 1949, and some financial information; correspondence, reports, and other materials concerning the Educational Alliance, 1949-1973, including two reports on the history of the Alliance's People's Synagogue; correspondence and minutes, 1940-1942, of the Rabbinical Assembly's Committee on Social Justice of which Rabbi Grossman was secretary, and of its Joint Commission on Education.

Of particular note are several files documenting Rabbi Grossman's trips to Russia in 1936 and 1956. These include manuscripts of Rabbi Grossman's talks about his trips (he gave lectures about Russia as part of the Adath Jeshurun Forum, Philadelphia, and before other groups), notes he made while travelling, itineraries, letters and postcards written home to his family; and Pauline Grossman's essay about the 1956 trip. Printed writings by others about Russia, including: "Russia's Morals, Shall we Adopt Them?" Rabbi Louis I. Newman, 1932; "What Soviet Russia is Doing to Religion," 1931- 1932, and "What the World Owes to the Bolsheviki!" 1927-1928; and "The Jewish Question and the USSR" a speech by Alexander A. Troyanovsky, Soviet Ambassador to the United States, delivered at a dinner given in his honor by the American Committee for the Settlement of Jews in Birobidjan, 1936, are also included.

Other files contain printed material on a variety of subjects, including: the visit of poet Chaim Nachman Bialik to the United States, 1926; various contemporary figures such as Albert Einstein, Louis Marshall, Henry Morgenthau Jr., Franklin D. Roosevelt, Bertrand Russell, and Chaim Weizmann; historical figures including Jehudah Halevy and Baruch Spinoza; and topics such as ethics, the future of Judaism and Jewish education.

Notes written by one of Rabbi Grossman's sons, probably Raphael Grossman, about his father's life can be found throughout.


Box List

Box  Folder(s)  Description
   
  I. Sermon Files, 1905-1975; N.D.
1 1 Ceremonies, 1931; n.d.
 2 Chanukah, 1939
 3 Chosen people, 1951
 4 Confirmation, n.d.
 5 Dedications, 1954; 1957; n.d.
 6 Eulogies, 117; 1929-1933; 1951-1953; n.d.
 7 Hebrew language, 1925-1960; n.d.
 8 Jewish Education, 1952; 1954; 1976
 9 Israel, ca. 1950; n.d.
 10 The Jewish Problem, 1923; 1930-1931; 1942; n.d.
 11 Job, 1931; n.d.
 12 Josephus, 1932; n.d.
 13 Judah the prince, ca. 1920
 14 Kaddish, 1924; 1930
 15 Law, 1931; 1932; 1936; 1940; n.d.
 16 Maimonides, n.d.
 17 Marriage 1930; 1932; 1949; n.d.
 18 Memory, 1923; 1930-1933; 1953; n.d.
 19 Miracles, 1932; n.d.
 20 Morals, 1929-1931; 1939; 1942; n.d.
 21 Nagrela, Samuel Ibn, n.d.
 22 Nationalism, 1914; 1926; 1941; 1942; 1951; n.d.
 23 New Year (secular), 1941-1942
 24 Palestine, 1922; 1939; n.d.
 25 Parshat Ha'Shavua, 1934; 1938
 26 Passover, 1905; 1923; 1930;1940-1942; 1945-1946; 1951-1953; 1956; 1960; 1975
 27 Passover II, 1918; 1919; 1921; 1924; 1925; 1932; 1934; 1940-1944
 28 Peace, 1924; 1928; 1932; 1940; ca. 1960; n.d.
 29 Prejudice, 1927-1928; 1930; 1945; n.d.
 30 Progress, 1922; 1924; 1932
 31 Propaganda, 1944
 32 Purim, 1941-1943; ca. 1953
 33 Rashi, 1926; 1940
 34 Religion, 1924; 1928; 1930-1933; 1941
 35 Rosh Hashana I, 1938; 1941; 1954
 36 Rosh Hashana II, 1924; 1927; 1931; 1953; n.d.
 37 Rosh Hashana III, 1930; 1936; 1941; 1943; 1948; 1951; 1952; 1954
 38 Shavuot, 1918; 1923-1924; 1930-1933; 1952
 39 Social Climbing, n.d.
 40 Song of Songs, ca. 1920; 1938; 1951; n.d.
 41 Spiritual Resources, n.d.
 42 Sukkot, 1925; 1929; 1941; 1951; n.d.
 43 Sulzberger, Mayer, 1923
 44 Synagogue, 1924; n.d.
 45 Will and testament, 1923; 1929; 1932; n.d.
 46 Worship, 1931; n.d.
 47 Yom Kippur, 1924; 1937; 1942; circa 1945; 1951; 1954; n.d.
 48 Yom Kippur (Kol Nidre), 1916; 1924; 1931; 1939-1941; 1951; n.d.
   
2 1 Sermons, various, 1939; 1941-1942; 1952; n.d.
   
  II. Subject Files, 1913-1975
2 2 Bialik, Chaim Nachman, visit to United States, 1926; n.d.
 3 Biographical material, 1914; 1924; 1925; 1937; 1938; 1946
 4 Camp Tabor, 1929; 1936; 1937; 1949; n.d.
 5 Correspondence, 1913-1914; 1935; 1947; 1951; 1954; 1959; 1973; n.d.
 6 Educational Alliance, 1949; 1967; 1973; n.d.
 7 Educational material, 1919; n.d.
 8 Einstein, Albert, 1929-1932; n.d.
 9 Ethics, 1930; 1939; 1974; n.d.
 10 HaLevy, Jehudah, 1941
 11 Holidays (Lag Ba'Omer, Yom Ha Atzmaut), 1950; n.d.
 11a Israel, 1943-1959
 12 Judaism future of, 1942-1943; n.d.
 13 Kiddush Hashem, 1929
 14 Lesson Plan, Mendelssohn, n.d.
 15 Marriages performed, ca. 1924-1941; n.d.
 16 Marshall Louis, 1929
 17 Morganthau, Henry Jr., 1946-1947
 18 Printed material, 1923-1925; 1930-1931; 1935; 1971; 1975; n.d.
 19 Rabbinical Assembly, Social Justice Committee, Joint Commission on Education, 1940-1942, n.d.
 20 Reconstructionism, 1942-1951; n.d.
 21 Religious symbols, (ts. book chapter) n.d.
 22 Roosevelt, Franklin D., memorial service, Ethical Culture Society, April 14, 1945; Theodore Roosevelt
 23 Russell, Bertrand, 1952
 24-29 Russian trips and related material, 1918-1957; n.d.
 30 Skepticism, 1928; 1932
 31 Society for the Advancement of Judaism, 1923; 1934; n.d.
 32 Spinoza, Baruch, 1931-1932, n.d.
 33 Sports, 1931
 34 Strauss, Samuel, 1952-1953
 35 Student essay, Jeremiah, 1907
 36 United Synagogue, 1926; 1927; n.d.
 37 Weizman, Chaim, 1963; n.d.
 38 Youth, 1951