TABLE OF CONTENTS


Introduction

Biographical Sketch

Scope and Content Note

Arrangement Note

Conditions of Access and Use

Administrative Information

Search Terms

Box and Folder Listing

Series A. Correspondence, 1871-1929

Series B. Personal, 1871-1927

Series C. Lectures and Sermons, 1885-1923

Series D. Manuscript Material, undated

Series E. Printed Material, 1881-1929

Series F. Miscellaneous 1889-1923

Series G. Additional Family Correspondence, 1914-1917

A Finding Aid to the Maximilian H. Heller Papers. 1871-1929.

Manuscript Collection No. 33


Introduction

Repository: The Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives
Creator: Heller, Maximilian H., 1860-1929.
Title: Maximilian H. Heller Papers.
Dates: 1871-1929.
Quantity: 7.1 linear feet (17 Hollinger boxes)
Abstract: The Maximilian H. Heller papers relate to the career of the distinguished New Orleans rabbi whose interests included the Reform movement, Zionism, and the labor movement. The collection includes correspondence, sermons, lectures, articles, and newsclippings which reflect Heller's varied thoughts on numerous topics. Among the many important individuals who corresponded with Max Heller were: Louis D. Brandeis, Gotthard Deutsch, Jacob de Haas, Kaufmann Kohler, Henrietta Szold, Isaac M. Wise and Stephen S. Wise.
Collection Number: MS-33
Language: Collection material in English, German, French, Hebrew, and Yiddish.

Biographical Sketch

Macimilian H. Heller

Maximilian H. Heller, who was born on January 31, 1860 in the Bohemian city of Prague, was the only son and the third of five children born to Simon and Mathilde (Kassowitz) Heller. On both sides of the family, which was of German or Ashkenasic strain of Jews, Heller was descended from a long and distinguished line of European rabbis and scholars. Heller's early childhood and youth were spent in the ghetto of Prague, where his father was a well-to-do wool merchant.

In 1877, while a student at the Prague Gymnasium, Heller's father suffered such severe financial reverses that the family decided to emigrate to the United States. In order not to interrupt his preparation for a career in medicine, Maximilian was left behind. The family settled in Chicago, Illinois, where the father eked out a precarious living by preparing young boys for confirmation and by serving as a lodge secretary.

In 1879, Maximilian, hearing that his mother, who was afflicted with tuberculosis, had but a short time to live, followed the family to the U.S. Upon his arrival in Chicago, Max saw before him the necessity of having to help support the family and decided that his best course was to prepare himself for the rabbinate. He therefore entered the Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, Ohio, at the same time enrolling for courses at the University of Cincinnati. He received a B.L. (1882) and M.L. (1884) degrees from the University of Cincinnati and was ordained as a rabbi from HUC in 1884.

Upon graduation, Heller was appointed associate to Rabbi Bernard Felsenthal of Chicago's Zion Congregation, where he served for 1 1/2 years. Following this, he led the Reform Jewish congregation in Houston, Texas for five months. In 1887 he was elected rabbi of Temple Sinai of New Orleans, Louisiana. He remained there until 1927, when he was named rabbi emeritus.

On March 6, 1889 Heller married Ida Annie Marks, daughter of a distinguished Portuguese family of New Orleans, by whom he had four children.

Heller's literary work was extensive, though largely composed of published articles, sermons, and addresses. He was a professor of Hebrew language and literature at Tulane University and was elected vice-president (1907-1908) and president (1909-1910) of the Central Conference of American Rabbis.

Maximilian H. Heller died on March 30, 1929.


Scope and Content Note

Maximilian H. Heller was one of the most respected and best loved religious leaders of New Orleans and the South. He was known as a man who was diffident and timid in matters about which he did not feel himself well informed, but who did not hesitate to take a determined and courageous stand when he thought a moral principle was involved.

Heller was a leader in both the Jewish and non-Jewish communities of New Orleans. He was active in many causes and movements, often at great risk to his welfare and reputation. Together with Dr. Benjamin Morgan Palmer, Presbyterian divine, and state Senator (later Chief Justice) Edward Douglas White, Heller led the bitter and historic fight which resulted in the abolition of the Louisiana lottery. Equally characteristic was his early espousal of Zionism at a time when support of this cause meant vilification and loss of merited recognition. Heller was also actively engaged in promoting public education, serving from 1892-1896 as a member of the Louisiana State Board of Education.

The Heller papers document these activities, as well as his involvement in Jewish communal and organizational life, plus his pulpit and rabbinic duties. Heller's family correspondence deals with personal and domestic problems as well as the struggle of Bohemian immigrants who came to Chicago in the 1870s.

The papers span the years 1871-1929 with no major gaps or lacunae. The majority of the collection is in English with some correspondence in German, French, Hebrew and Yiddish.


Arrangement Note

This collection is arranged in six (6) series:

  • Series A. Correspondence. 1871-1929.
  • Series B. Personal. 1876-1923.
  • Series C. Lectures and Sermons. 1885-1922.
  • Series D. Manuscript Material.
  • Series E. Printed Material. 1881-1929.
  • Series F. Miscellaneous.

Conditions of Access and Use

Terms of Access

The collection is open for use; no restrictions apply.

Terms of Reproduction and Use

Copyright restrictions may apply. Authorization to publish, quote, or reproduce, with exceptions for fair use, may be obtained through the American Jewish Archives, Cincinnati, Ohio. Please address queries to the Executive Director of the American Jewish Archives. For more information, see the American Jewish Archives copyright information webpage.


Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Footnotes and bibliographic references should refer to the Maximilian H. Heller Papers and the American Jewish Archives. A suggestion for at least the first citation is as follows:

[Description], [Date], Box #, Folder #. MS-33. Maximilian H. Heller Papers. American Jewish Archives, Cincinnati, Ohio.

Provenance

The Maximilian H. Heller papers were donated by his son, James G. Heller, in January, 1952 and May, 1953. Additional family correspondence was received from the Heller family through Bobbie Malone in August, 1993.

Processing Information

Processed by James W. Clasper, November, 1976.


Box and Folder Listing

Series A. Correspondence, 1871-1929
The Correspondence series consists of six Hollinger boxes. Subjects relate to congregational, rabbinic, religious, scientific, cultural, and political matters, the Reform movement, Zionism, the labor movement, conferences, meetings, the prayer book controversy, immigration problems, Hebrew Union College, and the careers of well-known rabbis, scientists, and writers.
This series is arranged alphabetically by the name of the correspondent and chronologically within. Unidentified correspondence is placed at the end of this series.
Box Folder
1 1 A, General 1885-1916
1 2 Adler, Cyrus1902-1909
1 3 Antin, Mary1911
1 4 B, General 1884-1926
1 5 Barnston [Barstein], Henry1903-1915
1 6 Bergman, Moise1900-1909
1 7 Berkowitz, Henry1881-1910
1 8 Bettman, Bernhard1884-1910
1 9 Bienenstok, Montefiore1904-1905
1 10 Brandeis, Louis D.1915-1922, 1927
1 11 Braunfeld, Julius1894-1911
1 12 Braunscheveig, E.1887-1888
1 13 Buxbaum, E. Leopold1887; 1908
1 14 C, General 1885-1925
1 15 Cahn, Edgar M.1886-1892
1 16 Calisch, Edward N.1887-1914
1 17 Cohen, Alfred M.1918-1921
1 18 Cohen, Henry1888-1917
1 19 Cohen, Oscar J.1889-1899
1 20 Cowen, Philip1901-1909; 1914
1 21 Crofton, Alfred C.1914-1917
1 22 D, General 1885-1921
1 23 Dannenbaum, Henry J.1912-1914
1 24 Davidson, David1885-1900
1 25 De Sola Pool, David1907-1917
Box Folder
2 1 Deutsch, Gotthard1897-1912
2 2 Deutsch, Gotthard1913-1921; 1930
2 3 E, General 1890-1915
2 4 Ehrlich, Arnold B.1900-1911
2 5 Elkin, Heiman J.1890; 1911
2 6 Enelow, Hyman G.1902-1911; 1916
2 7 Englander, Henry1916-1920
2 8 F, General 1878-1924
2 9 Felsenthal, Bernhard [Bernard]1884-1902
2 10 Franklin, Leo M.1913-1915
2 11 Freiberg, J. Walter1911-1915
2 12 Friedenwald, Harry1909-1917
2 13 Friedlander, Joseph1901-1916
2 14 Friedman, William S.1892-1913
2 15 Frisch, Ephraim1912-1915
2 16 G, General 1885-1920
2 17 Gaster, Moses1911-1912; 1918-1919
2 18 Gittelman, H.1918-1922
2 19 Goldberg, Jeanette Miriam1878; 1908-1909; 1915
2 20 Goldstein, Julius1923
2 21 Gottheil, Gustav and Gottheil, Richard1894-1911
2 22 Gries, Moses J.1892-1914
2 23 Grossmann, Louis1888-1919
2 24 Guttmacher, Adolph1889-1914
Box Folder
3 1 H, General 1882-1925
3 2 Haas, Jacob de1902-1922
3 3 Harris, Maurice1891-1924
3 4 Harrison, Leon1895-1923
3 5 Hecht, Sigmund D.1886-1897
3 6 Heinsheimer, Edward1895; 1917
3 7 Hirsch, Emil G.1888-1900; 1908
3 8 Hurwitz, Henry1909-1916; 1924
3 9 I, General 1882-1922
3 10 J, General 1888-1918
3 11 Jacobs, Joseph1891-1915; 1920
3 12 Jacobson, Moses P.1889-1917
3 13 Jasin, Joseph1907-1910
3 14 K, General 1886-1923
3 15 Kallen, Horace M.1912-1916
3 16 Kaplan, Jacob H.1909-1920
3 17 Kohler, Kaufmann1893-1916
3 18 Kohn, Annette1903
3 19 Kohut, George Alexander1876-1911
3 20 Kory, Sol L.1898-1905
3 21 Krauskopf, Joseph1882-1920
3 22 L, General 1882-1925
3 23 Lehman, Emanuel1899-1904
3 24 Lemann, Monte M.1906-1915
3 25 Leucht, Isaac L.1886-1895
3 26 Levy, J. Leonard1899; 1911-1915
3 27 Levy, Lipman1885-1915
3 28 Lewinthal, Isidore1887-1905
3 29 Lipsky, Louis1904-1919; 1928
3 30 Lyon, J.A.1913-1915
Box Folder
4 1 M, General 1884-1925
4 2 Magnes, Judah L.1906-1911
4 3 Mannheimer, Sigmund1884-1905
4 4 Margolis, Max1906-1908
4 5 Marshall, Louis1903-1924
4 6 Marx, David1887-1913
4 7 Marx, Salomon1886-1913
4 8 Mayer, Harry H.1898-1914
4 9 Mendes, Isaac P. and Mendes, H. Pereira1899-1914
4 10 Meyer, Martin A.1909-1917
4 11 Mielziner, Moses1884-1902
4 12 Montefiore, Claude G.1910-1914
4 13 Morgenstern, Julian1908-1917
4 14 Moses, Alfred G.1904-1907
4 15 Moses, Isaac S.1890-1904
4 16 N-O, General 1884-1924
4 17 P, General 1880-1918
4 18 Philipson, David1884-1913
4 19 Pohl, Julius1889
4 20 Pollak, Carl1881-1889
4 21 R, General 1879-1926
4 22 Raisin, Jacob S.1900-1914
4 23 Raisin, Max1905-1916
4 24 Raphael, E.1886-1899
4 25 Rauch, Blanche1885-1901
4 26 Rosenau, William1904-1915
4 27 Rosenwald, Julius1921
Box Folder
5 1 Sa-Sp, General 1871-1927
5 2 St-Su, General 1871-1925
5 3 Samfield, Max1887-1893
5 4 Schanfarber, Tobias1884-1912
5 5 Schechter, Solomon1903-1912; 1917
5 6 Schulman, Samuel1909-1925
5 7 Seeman, George1897-1912
5 8 Silber, Mendel1909-1915
5 9 Silverman, Joseph1881-1910
5 10 Singer, Isidor1904-1919
5 11 Smith, William B.1894-1929
5 12 Son, Nathan A.1892
5 13 Sonneschein, Solomon H.1887-1890; 1895
5 14 Steeg, A.1896-1897
5 15 Stern, S. Walter1914-1920
5 16 Sternheim, Emanuel1912-1915
5 17 Sulzberger, Mayer1902-1907
5 18 Szold, Henrietta1903-1917
5 19 T, General 1909-1923
5 20 Temple Sinai (New Orleans, La.)1898-1923
Box Folder
6 1 U-V, General 1885-1915
6 2 W, General 1883-1924
6 3 Wagenheim, Isaac E.1900
6 4 Weil, Robert1876-1881
6 5 Weis, I.1893-1897
6 6 Wise, Isaac M.1879-1896
6 7 Wise, Leo1885-1915
6 8 Wise, Stephen S.1896-1929
6 9 Wolf, Simon1898; 1905-1918
6 10 Wolsey, Louis1898-1915
6 11 Z, General 1885-1923
6 12 Zangwill, Israel1900
6 13 Zepin, George1912-1923
6 14 Zielonka, Martin1900; 1909; 1911
6 15 Unidentified 1878; 1881-1917; 1927
Series B. Personal, 1871-1927
The Personal series consists of approximately two Hollinger boxes and has been divided into two subseries: 1. Family correspondence and 2. Miscellaneous.
Subseries 1. Family correspondence, 1876-1923
The family correspondence subseries consists of Heller's exchanges with both immediate and extended family members.
See also Box 17, folders 6-14 for additional family correspondence.
The material is arranged alphabetically by correspondent.
Restriction Note: The family correspondence is restricted. Permission to view these items must be obtained from the Executive Director of the American Jewish Archives.
Box Folder
6 16 Cohen, George and Heller, Ruth [daughter] 1913-1921
[Restricted]
6 17 Heller, Ernestine [sister] 1884-1915; 1923
[Restricted]
6 18 Heller, Helen Bettman [daughter-in-law] 1916
[Restricted]
Box Folder
7 1-3 Heller, Ida Marks [wife] 1888-1915(3 folders)
[Restricted]
7 4 Heller, Isaac [son] 1916-1917
[Restricted]
7 5 Heller, James Gutheim [son] 1897-1920
[Restricted]
7 6 Heller, Jean Bettman [daughter-in-law] 1916-1923
[Restricted]
7 7 Heller, Louise [sister?] 1883-1915
[Restricted]
7 8-9 Heller, Mathilda Kassowitz and Heller, Simon [parents] 1876-1910(2 folders)
[Restricted]
Box Folder
8 1 Lasker, Edward and Heller, Cecile [daughter] 1900-1920
[Restricted]
8 2 Stein, Anna1882-1889; 1910
[Restricted]
8 3 Stein, Carrie1889-1910
[Restricted]
8 4 Stein, Samuel1878-1895; 1903-1913
[Restricted]
8 5 Stein, Sidney1895; 1899
[Restricted]
8 6-7 Stolz, Joseph [nephew?] 1881-1929(2 folders)
[Restricted]
8 8 Miscellaneous family correspondence 1889-1920
[Restricted]
8 9 Unidentified family correspondence 1882-1913
[Restricted]
Subseries 2. Miscellaneous, 1871-1929
Box Folder
8 10-11 Travel diary circa 1927(2 folders)
[Restricted]
8 12 School reports 1871-1879
[Restricted]
8 13 Receipts 1890-1896
[Restricted]
8 14 Photographs undated
[Restricted]
Series C. Lectures and Sermons, 1885-1923
The Lectures and Sermons series consists of manuscript material such as sermons, lectures, and prayers. The material spans the period 1885-1923.
The series is organized by date and tied into individual packets that are grouped into Friday lectures, Saturday sermons, holiday sermons, and miscellaneous.
Box Folder
9 1-4 Friday lectures 1887-1922(4 folders)
9 5-6 Saturday sermons 1885-1904(2 folders)
Box Folder
10 1-3 Saturday sermons 1904-1922(3 folders)
10 4-5 Holiday sermons 1905-1923(2 folders)
10 6 Miscellaneous undated
Series D. Manuscript Material, undated
The Manuscript Material series consists of three boxes of unorganized miscellaneous items including sermon and lecture notes, addresses, resolutions, and prayers. Most of this material is undated.
Box Folder
11 1 Resolutions and addresses undated
11 2-6 Miscellaneous undated(5 folders)
Box Folder
12 1-6 Miscellaneous undated(6 folders)
Box Folder
13 1-5 Miscellaneous undated(5 folders)
Series E. Printed Material, 1881-1929
The Printed Material series consists of three boxes of scrapbook pages of newsclippings and articles spanning the period 1881-1929. Some material is undated. Box 16, folders 4-6, consists of memorial material for Maximilian Heller that was prepared by Ida Marks Heller for her son James.
The material is arranged as it was found in the scrapbooks.
Box Folder
14 1-7 Scrapbooks 1881-1925(7 folders)
Box Folder
15 1-8 Scrapbooks 1883-1925(8 folders)
Box Folder
16 1-6 Scrapbooks 1929, undated(6 folders)
Series F. Miscellaneous 1889-1923
The Miscellaneous series consists of Sunday school record books, minutes of meetings, assorted documents, picture postcards, and holiday program material. Minutes of the Board of Governors of Hebrew Union College for 1921 and those for the Commission on Jewish Religious Educational Literature for April 1923 are included. There is also a Theodor Herzl chronology in Box 17, folder 5.
Box Folder
17 1 Record books circa 1889-1899
17 2 Minutes of meetings. Hebrew Union College Board of Governors Commission on Jewish Religious Educational LiteratureMarch-November 1921April 1923
17 3 Holiday program material circa 1921
17 4 Picture postcards undated
17 5 Documents and assorted items undated
Series G. Additional Family Correspondence, 1914-1917
This material is a supplement to the family correspondence contained in Series B. Personal. This additional material was obtained from the Heller family through Bobbie Malone in August, 1993.
The material is arranged alphabetically by the name of the correspondent.
Restriction Note: The family correspondence is restricted. Permission to view these items must be obtained from the Executive Director of the American Jewish Archives.
Box Folder
17 6 Heller, Cecile [daughter] to Heller, Isaac and Heller, James Gutheim [sons] 1914-1917, undated
[Restricted]
17 7 Heller, Ida Marks [wife] to Heller, Isaac and Heller, James Gutheim [sons] 1914-1917
[Restricted]
17 8 Heller, Isaac [son] from Heller, Maximilian H.1914-1917
[Restricted]
17 9 Heller, Isaac [son] postal cards from Heller, Maximilian H.1914-1916
[Restricted]
17 10-11 Heller, Isaac and Heller, James Gutheim [sons] from Heller, Maximilian H.1914-1917(2 folders)
[Restricted]
17 12 Heller, Maximilian H. to "Dear Folks and Boys" [wife and children] 1915-1916
[Restricted]
17 13 Heller, Ruth [daughter] to Heller family1914-1915, undated
[Restricted]
17 14 Miscellaneous and unidentified family correspondence 1916, undated
[Restricted]

Search Terms

The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the AJA's online catalog.

Persons and Families

Heller, Maximilian H. -- 1860-1929 -- Photographs

Institutions

Temple Sinai (New Orleans, La.)

Subjects

Jews -- Louisiana -- New Orleans
Labor movement -- Louisiana -- New Orleans
Reform Judaism -- Louisiana -- New Orleans
Zionism.

Genres and Forms

Jewish sermons, American

Occupations

Rabbis -- Louisiana -- New Orleans