Record Group 41: Conference on the Role of Judaism in the Modern World

  • Dates: April 19, 1942
  • Size: .2 linear ft.
  • Number of Boxes: 1
  • Languages: English
  • Location: Special Collections Reading Room, Jewish Theological Seminary Library.
  • Restrictions: Jewish Theological Seminary records are available for research, with permission, through 1972; records dating from 1973 and afterward are currently closed. For permission to see records of The Jewish Theological Seminary write to: Archivist, Ratner Center for the Study of Conservative Judaism, Jewish Theological Seminary, 3080 Broadway, New York, NY 10027. Reproduction of fragile items is not permitted; consult the archivist about literary rights.

JM, 12/4/97

Table of Contents:

A Note on Folder Headings

Individual folders are identified in the following way: record group# -- box# -- folder#, as in R.G.1-10-32. Please use this format in citations and when referring to files for any other reason.

Historical Note

The Conference on the Role of Judaism in the Modern World was organized by the Jewish Theological Seminary and held on April 19, 1942 at the Congress Hotel in Chicago. The purpose of this wartime conference appears to have been to define the role of the synagogue in the war effort and, more narrowly, the role of JTS. The speakers grapple, for the most part, with the issue of how Judaism can be maintained in the threat of Nazism and war.

The program of this one day conference was as follows:


  • Prayer - Rabbi Leon W. Rosenberg
  • Judaism and the Present World Crisis
  • "The Rabbi," Rabbi Albert I. Gordon
  • "The Synagogue," Rabbi Benjamin H. Birnbaum
  • Discussion: Rabbis Elias Charry, David Graubart, and Hyman R. Rabinowitz
  • General Discussion


  • Prayer - Rabbi Judah Nadich
  • Remarks - Maurice Samuel
  • Greetings on behalf of the Chicago Friends of the Seminary - Samuel Wolberg, President
  • Greetings on behalf of the Chicago Branch of the National Women's League of the United Synagogue - Mrs. Philip Yavitz, President
  • "The Place of the Seminary in the Perspective of Jewish History," Rabbi David Aronson
  • "The Seminary as Interpreter of Judaism to the World," Rabbi Herman Hailperin
  • "The Seminary as Interpreter of Judaism to Jews," Rabbi Morris Adler
  • The Role of the Seminary and the Synagogue in the World Crisis
  • Discussion: Rabbis Norman S. Arnoff, Abraham L. Lassen, Morris Teller
  • General Discussion
  • Prayer - Rabbi Maurice A. Lazovick


  • Prayer - Rabbi Herman M. Cohen
  • "The Meaning of Rabbi Saadia Gaon for Our Time," Robert Gordis
  • "The Seminary: A Link Between the Past and the Future," Simon Greenberg
  • Prayer - Rabbi Louis Finkelstein

Collection Description

Included is one volume containing the verbatim transcript of the conference. Also included are the annotated typescripts of two lectures delivered at the conference: Herman Hailperin, "The Seminary as Interpreter of Judaism to the World," and Morris Teller, "The Role of the Seminary and the Synagogue in the World Crisis." Both of these are in fragile condition. Please use the photocopies instead of the originals.