Skip to content

#127 – Stephen Wise

#127 – Stephen Wise published on No Comments on #127 – Stephen Wise

In 1900, he was called as rabbi to Congregation Beth Israel in Portlant, Oregon. He attacked “many of the social and political ills of contemporary America.” In 1906, concerning another rabbinical appointment, Wise made a major break from the established Reform movement over the “question whether the pulpit shall be free or whether the pulpit shall not be free, and, by reason of its loss of freedom, reft of its power for good”;1 In 1907 he established his Free Synagogue, starting the “free Synagogue” movement.

Joining U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis, Felix Frankfurter, and others, Wise laid the groundwork for a democratically elected, nationwide organization of ‘ardently Zionist’ Jews, ‘to represent Jews as a group and not as individuals’.

In 1922, Wise was one of the founding trustees of the Palestine Endowment Funds Inc., along with Julian Mack.2

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *