Wise, Stephen Samuel

(1874–1949)
   US Reform rabbi, communal and Zionist leader. For some forty years, the convictions and zeal of Stephen Wise pervaded the American Jewish scene. He was one of the best-known religious leaders of any denomination in the country. Wise was brought to the United States as an infant by his Hungarian immigrant parents. He graduated from Columbia University, was ordained as a Reform rabbi and founded his own Free Synagogue in New York. In 1922, he established the Jewish Institute of Religion for training rabbis according to his own concepts, and was its president until it merged in 1948 with the Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati. As a rabbi, he was an outspoken champion of civil rights for negroes, of fair practice in labour relations, and of child welfare. Towards the end of World War I, Rabbi Wise was the main architect and first president of the American Jewish Congress, a new body conceived on broad democratic lines and with a Zionist slant. In the Jewish representation at the Paris Peace Conference in 1919, he worked with the Zionist leaders and was also active in securing Jewish minority rights in the new states of post-war Europe. In 1936, after the emergence of Hitler Germany, he promoted the World Jewish Congress, of which he became president. The WJC was to do valuable work in assisting Jewish communities in distress but never developed into the authoritative voice of the whole Jewish people as Wise had hoped. Wise was a lifelong Zionist. As early as 1897, he helped found the Federation of American Zionists, and was its honorary secretary. He was a delegate to the Second Zionist Congress in 1898, and attended a number of subsequent congresses. He visited Palestine three times. During World War I, he worked with Louis BRANDEIS to gain President Woodrow WILSON’S sympathy for Zionism. To their disappointment, the White House did not come out in support of the BALFOUR Declaration when it was issued in London on 2 November 1917. In August 1918 the president wrote Wise a letter which expressed guarded approval of the Declaration.
   After the war, differences of opinion arose between the American Zionist leaders and Dr WEIZMANN. The break came at the Cleveland Convention in 1921, when the Brandeis group, including Wise, were out-voted and withdrew from their official positions. Wise remained unhappy about this schism and later returned to Zionist activity. He was for a while chairman of the United Palestine Appeal and from 1936–9 president of the Zionist Organization of America. A sharp critic of the pro-Arab shift in British Palestine policy, he wrote The Great Betrayal (1930). With the outbreak of World War II, Wise helped to set up the American Zionist Emergency Council and was its co-chairman with Rabbi Abba Hillel SILVER. The two men clashed over tactics, Wise relying on President Roosevelt’s support while Silver tried unsuccessfully to push a pro-Zionist resolution through Congress. In 1945, Wise went to the United Nations Conference in San Francisco as a Zionist representative, and in 1946 he appeared as a witness before the Anglo-American Committee of Enquiry on Palestine. Wise wrote an autobiography, Chal-lenging Years (1949), and two collections of his letters have been published.

Who’s Who in Jewish History after the period of the Old Testament. . 2012.

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  • WISE, STEPHEN SAMUEL — (1874–1949), U.S. rabbi and Zionist leader. Born in Budapest, Hungary, Wise was taken to the United States at the age of 17 months. From childhood he was determined to become a rabbi like his father, Rabbi Aaron Wise, who, together with alexander …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Wise,Stephen Samuel — Wise (wīz), Stephen Samuel. 1874 1949. Hungarian born American religious leader who was an ardent Zionist and founded the World Jewish Congress (1936). * * * …   Universalium

  • Wise, Stephen Samuel — born March 17, 1874, Budapest, Hung., Austria Hungary died April 19, 1949, New York, N.Y., U.S. Hungarian born U.S. Reform rabbi, political activist, and Zionist leader. His family immigrated to the U.S. when he was an infant. He earned his Ph.D …   Universalium

  • Wise, Stephen Samuel — (17 mar. 1874, Budapest, Hungría, Austria Hungría–19 abr. 1949, Nueva York, N.Y., EE.UU.). Rabino reformista estadounidense de origen húngaro, activista político y líder sionista. Su familia emigró a EE.UU. cuando era niño. En 1901 se doctoró en… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Wise, Stephen Samuel — (1874 1949)    American rabbi and Zionist leader. He was born in Budapest, and emigrated to the US as a child. He served as rabbi of Congregation B nai Jeshurun in New York, and later in Portland, Oregon. In 1907 he established the Free Synagogue …   Dictionary of Jewish Biography

  • Stephen Samuel Wise — Stephen Wise Stephen Samuel Wise (* 17. März 1874 in Budapest; † 19. April 1949) war ein US amerikanischer Rabbiner und ein führender Zionist. Leben Stephen Wise wurde in Budapest (Ungarn) geboren und gelangte im Alter von 17 Monaten …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Stephen Samuel Wise — Stephen Samuel Wise. Stephen Samuel Wise (17 de marzo de 1874, Budapest, Hungría 19 de abril de 1949, Nueva York, Estados Unidos) fue un rabino reformista, activista político y líder sionista es …   Wikipedia Español

  • Stephen Samuel Wise — For the American legal scholar, please see Steven M. Wise . Stephen Samuel Wise (17 March, 1874 April 19 1949) was a Austro Hungarian born U.S. Reform rabbi and Zionist leader.BiographyFamily backgroundStephen Samuel Wise was born in Budapest in… …   Wikipedia

  • Stephen Samuel Wise — noun United States Jewish leader (born in Hungary) (1874 1949) • Syn: ↑Wise • Instance Hypernyms: ↑religious leader …   Useful english dictionary

  • Stephen Wise — Stephen Samuel Wise (* 17. März 1874 in Budapest; † 19. April 1949 in New York City) war ein US amerikanischer Rabbiner und ein führender Zionist. Leben Stephen Wise wurde in Budap …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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