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Abraham J. Feldman

Table of Contents

Summary Information
Administrative Information
Collection Inventory
Series I: Records & Manuscripts
Series III & IV
Photographs
Oral Histories
Series II: Publications

Summary Information

Repository
Jewish Historical Society of Greater Hartford
Title
Abraham J. Feldman
ID
Rabbi.0012.001.005e
Date [inclusive]
1000
Extent
1.0 Cubic feet
Language
English
Biographical/Historical
Biographical/Historical note Abraham Jehiel Feldman, born in 1893 in Kiev, was one of the leading Reform rabbis in the country. He came to the New York in 1906 and received his ordination in 1918 from Hebrew Union College. He was invited to return to New York where he served for almost two years under Rabbi Stephen S. Wise. Following that, Feldman became the assistant of Joseph Krauskopf for five years at his congregation in Philadelphia. In an oral history recorded in 1974, Rabbi Feldman commented on the influences he received from serving under two extremely prominent rabbis who were so different in approach. From Wise, he learned to use the pulpit as a "completely free forum" to espouse his views without control from the congregation. Under Krauskopf, he learned skills for building and maintaining a congregation. Feldman was selected in 1925 to lead at Beth Israel in Hartford. From his boyhood, Feldman was an ardent Zionist, and he spoke out on the matter from the Beth Israel pulpit to his decidedly non-Zionist congregation. During the next few decades, Feldman was unable to convert many of his congregants to Zionism, but he did neutralize opinion and prevent them from joining anti-Zionist groups. He also played a leading role in changing the general attitude among Reform leaders nationally. Feldman acquired a national reputation as a major leader of Reform Judaism and served on the Board of the Hebrew Union College, the Executive Council of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations, and as President of the Central Conference of American Rabbis. He retired in 1968 but continued serving as Rabbi Emeritus until his death in 1977. Rabbi Feldman was also very active in the local secular community. He served as Chaplain to the Connecticut State Guard, the Connecticut State Police, and the Veterans' Hospital. Feldman was involved with various other governmental agencies including the local Selective Service Re-employment Board, the National Recovery Administration in Connecticut, and Department of Defense post-war missions to the Pacific Rim. He was active in inter-faith activities that included the Connecticut Advisory Committee of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, lectures at the Hartford Seminary, and the founding of the Hartford Inter-Faith Committee. Rabbi Feldman was a prolific writer of numerous books and articles. He also co-founded the Jewish Ledger in 1929 and edited it for 48 years. In addition, Feldman was a member of the Publications Committee of the Jewish Publication Society, on the Executive Board of the Jewish Book Council of America, and a contributing editor of several Jewish encyclopedias.
Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents note This is far too small a collection to provide an in-depth look at Rabbi Feldman's life and profession, but, together with material in the Beth Israel Collection, it provides insight into his relationship with the non-Jewish community.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information
Jewish Historical Society of Greater Hartford

333 Bloomfield Avenue
West Hartford, CT, 06117
860-727-6171
ekafer@jewishhartford.org

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Collection Inventory

Series I: Records & Manuscripts
Awards and Honors / Hartt College of Music Honorary Degree, 1953
Awards and Honors / Miscellaneous
Awards and Honors / Synagogue Council of America, 1957
Biographical
Civic Activities
Correspondence
Inter-faith Activities
Inter-faith Activities / Course Taught at St. Joseph College, 1967
Manuscripts / "How Shall We Be 'Saved'?"
Manuscripts / "Is Life a Succession of Predetermined Events?"
Manuscripts / "My Father … My God"
Manuscripts / "Relationship of the Jewish People and their Religion"
Manuscripts / "Sin, Repentance and Forgiveness"
Manuscripts / "What about the Messiah?"
Manuscripts / "Zionism -- Then and Now"
Miscellaneous
Obituaries
Oral History Tape Transcript / 1972 Interview for JHSGH
Oral History Tape Transcript / 1974 Interview Re: Rabbi Joseph Krauskopf
Professional Activities
Professional Activities / Central Conference of American Rabbis, Presidency, 1947-1948
Travel / East Asia, 1970
Zionism

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Series III & IV
Found in collections, need additional processing, contains Rabbi’s messages, correspondence, and speeches
Feldman, Helen Block:
Obituaries

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Photographs
See: Photographs / People / Feldman, Abraham J.
See: Photographs / Synagogues / Beth Israel

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Oral Histories
1972 interview by Bert Gaster for the JHSGH
1974 interview by John Sutherland for Temple University

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Series II: Publications
Publications/America and the Jew, 1954
Publications/Another rabbi quits: what does it mean?, 1930
Publications/Being religious today, 1958
Publications/Changing Functions of the Synagogue and the Rabbi, , no date
Publications/Choice passages in the Holy Scriptures: A Teacher’s Guide, 1965
Publications/Come now let us reason together, 1966
Publications/Concept of Immortality in Judaism, 1969
Publications/Faith of a regular Jew, 1931
Publications/Glory of the imperfect, 1930
Publications/Greatest romance in history, 1930
Publications/I accept, 1929
Publications/I remember, 1975
Publications/If I were a Christian: a Lenten sermon, 1934
Publications/In time of need, 1968
Publications/Israel’s flag is not mine, 1949
Publications/Lights and Shadows, 1928
Publications/Lost word, 1968
Publications/Mine Eyes have seen the glory, n.d.
Publications/Modern Synagogue: a description of Temple Beth Israel, 1967
Publications/New year - Wherein new? 1929
Publications/Reform Judaism, 1956
Publications/The church and clergy in politics, 1929
Publications/The president’s message to the 60th annual convention of the central conference of American Rabbis, 1949
Publications/We Jews, 1929
Publications/What is faith, 1930
Publications/Why I am a Zionist, 1945
Publications/Why Jews do not accept the Christ, nd
Publications/
Publications/
Publications/

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