Access and Provenance
A Finding Aid to the
David Philipson Papers
Manuscript Collection No.
The DAVID PHILIPSON PAPERS were donated by David Philipson in 1949. The correspondence between Cyrus Adler and Rabbi Philipson is on permanent loan from Dr. Solomon Grayzel of the Jewish Publication Society of America, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
David Philipson, by the act of donating his papers to the American Jewish Archives, assigned the property rights to the American Jewish Archives. Literary rights have not been dedicated to the public. Any questions concerning literary or copyrights should be addressed to the Director of the American Jewish Archives. The collection is available to all users in the reading room of the American Jewish Archives.
BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH top
David Philipson, Reform rabbi and author, was born to Joseph and Louisa (Freudenthal) Philipson on August 9, 1862 in Wabash, Indiana. During his early childhood the family moved to Columbus, Ohio, where Philipson attended the public schools of that city.
In March of 1875 Isaac M. Wise, a personal friend of Joseph Philipson, wrote to the Philipson family about his plans to open a rabbinical seminary in the autumn. David, who was thirteen at the time and the oldest of six children, was about to finish grammar school. He decided to come to Cincinnati and enter the new Hebrew Union College (HUC). In 1883 Philipson became one of the first four to graduate from the Hebrew Union College. At the same time, he received his A.B. degree from the University of Cincinnati.
After ordination he taught for several months at the College before accepting a pulpit in Baltimore, Maryland at Har Sinai Congregation. He served there from 1884 until 1888. From 1884 to 1886 he carried on post-graduate studies in Assyriology and other Semitic languages at Johns Hopkins University. In 1888 he returned to Cincinnati to serve as rabbi of Bene Israel Congregation (Rockdale Temple). He served there until his voluntary retirement in 1938 when he became rabbi emeritus. Philipson was awarded a D.D. degree from Hebrew Union College (1886), and honorary LL.D. degree by the University of Cincinnati (1941) and by Lincoln Memorial University (1922), a D.H.L. degree by the Hebrew Union College (1925), and an honorary D.D. degree by the Jewish Institute of Religion, in New York (1938).
Philipson served also as an instructor at the Hebrew Union College, teaching Biblical exegesis, Arabic and Assyrian from 1889 to 1891. He served as processor of homiletics from 1891 to 1906 and also lectured on the history of Reform Judaism at the College after 1906.
Philipson participated in the Pittsburgh conference which formulated the principles of Reform Judaism, the so-called Pittsburgh Platform (1885). He was a founding member (1889) of the Central Conference of American Rabbis and served as its president from 1907 to 1909. He was an influential figure in the Hebrew Union College, both as teacher and as a member of the College's Board of Governors and in the Union of American Hebrew Congregations. Philipson was a director of the Associated Charities of Cincinnati (1889-1942), a charter member and for many years a vice-president of the American Jewish Historical Society, and a member of the American Jewish Committee.
David Philipson wrote The Reform Movement in Judaism, The Jew in English Fiction and edited The Letters of Rebecca Gratz. He was a member of the board of translators of the Jewish Publication Society for the translation of the Holy Scriptures (1916), and editor of Selected Writings of Isaac M. Wise (1900), and a translator of Reminiscences of Isaac M. Wise (1901, 1945). In 1942 he wrote an autobiography, My Life as an American Jew. Through his writings and speeches, Philipson came to be regarded as a regarded as a represented spokesman of "classical" Reform Judaism.
Philipson was a staunch advocate of Americanism and remained throughout his life an opponent of Jewish nationalism of any sort, particularly Zionism. His views on the subject appear in the tract The Jew in America.
On September 9, 1886, David Philipson married Ella Meyer Hollander. Mrs. Philipson died in December of 1940.
Philipson died June 29, 1949 while attending a convention of the Central Conference of American Rabbis at Bretton Woods, New Hampshire. He was buried in the United Jewish Cemetery in Cincinnati.
SCOPE AND CONTENT top
The DAVID PHILIPSON PAPERS, 1823-1949, document the career of David Philipson, Reform rabbi, author, founding member and president (1907-1909) of the Central Conference of American Rabbis, and a member of the first graduating class of the Hebrew Union College (1883). The collection consists of correspondence, sermons, addresses, organizational minutes, notes, memorial newsclippings, and miscellaneous items. The Papers have been organized into seven series:
The CORRESPONDENCE SERIES (1823-1946) consists of one and one-half Hollinger boxes of letters arranged alphabetically by the name of the correspondent. The bulk of the letters span the period between the 1880's and the 1900's. Photostatic copies of letters from as early as the 1820's apparently were collected by Dr. Philipson and later donated with the collection. Access to many of the more significant correspondents and subjects may be made through the use of the Box and Folder List and the Subject Tracings in this inventory. In addition, the card catalog has indexed more thoroughly the names of correspondents in this series. Among the important subjects covered in the series are anti-Zionism, anti-Semitism, and Jewish-Christian relations.
- A. CORRESPONDENCE
- B. ORGANIZATION AND SUBJECT
- C. DIARIES
- D. SERMONS AND ADDRESSES
- E. NOTES
- F. AUTOBIOGRAPHY
- G. MEMORIAL MATERIAL
The ORGANIZATION AND SUBJECT series (1885-1942) consists of one-half box of correspondence, minutes, and miscellaneous materials of concern to Dr. Philipson. The series has been arranged alphabetically by names of the organization or subject. Zionism, religious education, anti-Semitism, and the publications of the Jewish Publication Society are discussed.
The DIARIES series (1888-1939) consists of one box containing twenty-six journals. Philipson put in these journals his personal thoughts on numerous topics. The SERMONS AND ADDRESSES series consists of four boxes of sermons, addresses and lectures by David Philipson which span the period from the 1880's to the 1940's. Those with titles have been alphabetized and the titles have been listed in the APPENDIX at the end of the inventory.
The NOTES series consists of one box of notes used by Philipson in the preparation of his sermons and addresses. The majority of the NOTES are neither titled nor dated.
The AUTOBIOGRAPHY series consists of one-half box of Philipson's autobiography, My Life as an American Jew, in manuscript form.
The MEMORIAL MATERIAL series consists of one and one-half boxes of newsclippings, telegrams, letters, notes and letters commemorating some of the significant events in the career of David Philipson. Included here is a memorial album dealing with his 40th anniversary as rabbi of Congregation Bene Israel in Cincinnati, OH.
Additional oversize items, including Dr. Philipson's D.D. degree from Hebrew Union College, have been placed in the American Jewish Archives files. The location of these materials may be found by using the card catalogue.
The following materials were separated from the DAVID PHILIPSON PAPERS for placement in appropriate special files:
Conversion certificatesFor additional correspondence and other materials concerning Rabbi Philipson check the inventory and collection of Cincinnati, OH--Congregation Bene Israel.
Photographs ca. 1890's of friends of David Philipson
The Philipson collection, in its entirety, is on Microfilm Nos. 2736-2763.
BOX AND FOLDER LIST top
Box Folder Contents SERIES A. CORRESPONDENCENOTE: The CORRESPONDENCE series is arranged alphabetically by the name of the correspondent. Selective access to additional topics and individuals in this series may be made through the Subject Tracings at the end of this inventory. Please note that a subject or individual name may appear in the collection more often than indicated in the Subject Tracings.
1 1 A.B., General 2 C.D., General 3 E, General 4 Englander, Henry 1909-1914. 5 F, General 6 G, General 7 H,I,J, General 8 Jasin, Joseph 1912-1913 9 K, General 10 Kohler, Kaufmann 1885-1918 11 L, General 12 Levy, Simon 1915 13 M, General 14 N-P, General 15 Philipson, David. Committee Correspondence 1918 16 Philipson, David. Family Letters 1883-1884 [In German, the letters deal with family business activities. Amanda, Jacob, Joseph, Philip, and Simon Philipson] 17 Philipson, David. Letterpress Book 1887-1891. 18 R, General 19 S, General 20 Schiff, Jacob H. 1907-1918 2 1 Schulman, Samuel 1908; 116-1931 2 Sulzberger, Mayer 1906-1918 3 T-U, General 4 W, General 5 Wise, Isaac M. 1850-1888 6 Z, General and Unidentified SERIES B. ORGANIZATIONAL AND SUBJECT 7 A, General 8 American Jewish Committee 1907-1916, 1939 9 American Jewish Congress 1916-1917 10 B'nai B'rith 1913-1914 11 C, General 12 Central Conference of American Rabbis 1942 13 Jewish-Christian Relations 1928-1929 14 Jewish Publication Society 1885; 1911-1932 15 Jewish Publication Society 1908-1917 [Minutes] 16 Jewish Publication Society. Hebrew Classics Series 1914-1927 [Primarily letters to and from Cyrus Adler] 17 Prayerbook Revision 1915-1922 18 Sunday School Curriculum 1914-1917 19 Synagogue and School Matters 1914-1936 20 Zionism ca. 1914 SERIES C DIARIES 3 -- Diaries dated 1888 January through 1891 November; 1905 July 19 through 1906 February 22; 1927 July 5 through 1939 April 13 SERIES D SERMONS AND ADDRESSES Note: For a complete list of the titled sermons and addresses in Boxes 4 and 5 see Appendix at the end of the inventory 4 1 A, General 2 B, General 3 C, General 4 D, General 5 E, General 6 F, General 7 G, General 8 H, General 9 I, General 10 J, General 11 K,L, General 5 1 A, General 2 B, General 3 C, General 4 D, General 5 E, General 6 F, General 7 G, General 8 H, General 9 I, General 10 J, General 11 K,L, General 5 1 M, General 2 N, General 3 O, General 4 P,Q, General 5 R, General 6 S, General 7 T, General 8 U, General 9 W, General 10 Y,Z, General 6 -- Untitled copies of sermons and addresses. 7 -- Untitled copies of sermons and addresses. SERIES E NOTES 8-9 -- Notes on various topics used for sermons and addresses. SERIES F AUTOBIOGRAPHY 9 1,2 Manuscript copy of the Philipson Autobiography My Life as an American Jew (1942) SERIES G MEMORIAL MATERIAL 3,4 Memorial material consisting of newsclippings, telegrams, letters and paraphernalia 10 1 Newspaper clippings relative to the 75th birthday of Dr. David Philipson, 1937 Aug. 9. 2-4 40th Anniversary Album [consists of telegrams, newsclippings, notes, and letters] Flat files For oversize material contained in the flatfiles consult the American Jewish Archives card catalogue
SUBJECT TRACINGS top
Note: The following list of subjects is a selective index to many of the topics and individuals in the CORRESPONDENCE series and the ORGANIZATION AND SUBJECT series of the DAVID PHILIPSON PAPERS. It is selective in that it only attempts to draw attention to the more significant items in the collection. It does not attempt to list every subject or individual nor does it try to indicate all places that a listed subject or individual appears in the collection. When used in conjunction with the Box and Folder List, the Subject Tracings should help the researcher locate topics. References are to boxes and folders: e.g., 1/12 means Box 1, Folder 12.
Adler, Cyrus 1/1; 2/14, 16 Abrahams, Israel 1/1 Allen, Alfred G.1/1 American Association on Religion 2/7 American Red Cross 1/1 Anti-Immigration Bill 1/3 Anti-Semitism 1/2, 11, 14; 2/10 Anti-Zionism 1/2,5,9,10,13,15,18,19; 2/1,4 Apjones, Ludlow 1/1 Bader, A.S. 1/1 Bergmann, F. 1/1 Berkowitz, Henry 1/1 Bernheim, Isaac W. 1/1 Bible Reading in the Public Schools 1/13 Binswanger, Augustus 1/1 Blair, Louis E. 1/1 Bollman, C.P. 1/1 Calisch, Edward N.1/2 Cardozo, Benjamin N.1/2 Central Conference of American Rabbis 1/3 Central Jewish Assembly of America 2/11 Church and State 2/12 Cohen, Alfred M.1/2 Cohen, S. Solis 1/2 Community, Jewish 1/20 Condon, Randall J.1/2 Cronbach, Abraham1/2 Dabney, Charles William1/2 Dainbridge, N.P.1/2 Elias, Simon 1/3 Enelow, Hyman Gerson 1/3 Ezekiel, Henry C. 1/3 Foster, Solomon 1/5 Franklin, Leo M. 1/5 Freiberg, Julius Walter 1/5 Friedlaender, Israel 1/5 Frisch, Ephraim 1/5 Gratz, Rebecca 1/6 Haas, Jacob de 1/7 Hebrew Encyclopedia 1/3 Hebrew Union College 1/4, 10 Hebrew Union College--School for Teachers 1/3 Hecht, Sigmund 1/7 Heller, Maximilian 1/7 Immigrants and Immigration 1/4, 11; 2/8 Iola, Hyman 1/7 Israel, Joseph 1/7 Jewish-Christian Relations 1/2; 2/1 Judaism, Reform 1/13 Kohler, Kaufmann 1/10 Kohler, Max J. 1/9 Kopald, Louis J. 1/9 League of American Jews 2/4 Lilienthal, Max 1/11 Longworth, Nicholas 1/11 Mack, Julian W. 1/13 Mannheimer, Eugene 1/13 Margolis, Max L. 1/13 Marshall, Louis 1/13 Motion Picture Industry 2/10 Ochs, Adolph S. 1/14 Palestine 1/2, 7 Religious Education 1/5, 14 Roosevelt, Theodore 1/18 Rosenau, William 1/18; 2/12 Romanian Jewry 1/6 Senior, Max 1/19 Silver, Abba Hillel 1/19 Simon, Abram 1/19 Strauss, Oscar S. 1/19 Szold, Henrietta 1/19; 2/14 Taft, William H. 2/3 Union Prayerbook 1/2; 2/1; 12 Wolf, Simon 2/4 Wolsey, Louis 2/4 Zangwill, Israel 2/6 Zepin, George 2/6 Zionism 1/1, 7, 20APPENDIX top
SERMONS AND ADDRESSES [Boxes 4 and 5] A Abraham Lincoln in Word and Deed Abraham Lincoln's Message to the American Youth Adolph Moses' Place in American Judaism Against a Jewish Plebicite Aim of the Jewish Religious School Aims of Jewish Youth Education American Idea American Ideals American Jew and Religion American Jews American Jewish Leader American Reform Judaism in Retrospect Americanism and Americanization Americanism of Isaac M. Wise America's Challenge to the Jew Ancient and the Modern Promised Land Annual Mid-Winter Social Orgy Appearance and Reality Are American Jews Parasites? Are These Things Possible? Are We Not All Brethren? Are We Not All Brothers? Aspects of College Education Attempted Assassination of Stolypin Atonement Eve 1905; 1911; 1920; 1922; 1932; 1934 B Basis of Reform Judaism Best Is Yet To Be Bible in Education Bible in the Public Schools Biblical Story of Creation Biblical Story of Creation and the Theory of Evolution Billy Sunday's Meeting for Jews Build Up the Spiritual Foundations Burning of the Books C Call to Youth Can Man By Searching Find Out God? Can We Still Hope? Central Conference of American Rabbis 1889-1939 Channing Pollock's "The Fool" Character and Culture Charity Among the Jews Child Sacrifice, Ancient and Modern Christian Jewish Relations Choice Church and State City Beautiful Closed Mind Closing Prayer College Woman Confession Congregation in Israel Congregation's Place in Judaism Continuing Covenant With God Continuing Revelation of God Crime Wave Criminal and the Courts Cry of the Children Cumulative Results of the Passing Years--A New Year's Contemplation Cyrus Adler and the Bible Translation D Dr. David Philipson in Montreal David Philipson on Zionism Day of Atonement 1907; 1911; 1913; 1920; 1921 Disarm, Disarm! Disarmament the Great Hope for 1932 Disarmament Versus Militarism Dogma In Religion Domain in Faith Door of Opportunity Double Jewish Responsibility E Economy of Time Educating Our Youth Away From Religious and Race Prejudice Essentials for a Better . . . Eternal People in the Eternal City Everlasting Foundations Evolution and Religion European War and Palestinian Institutions F Faculty of Appreciation Famous Non-Jewish Defenders of Jews Feast of Passover First Struggle for Religious Liberty Flag Day Oration Forty-Five Years in Cincinnati--Then and Now Foundation of Eternal Youth Founding of the Cincinnati Section of the Council of Jewish Women Function of the Jewish Ministry Fundamentalist Controversy Future of Judaism G George Washington Bicentenary Recalls Interesting Incidents German Jewish Situation in Germany God Idea in Judaism God Our Father Good Old Times Group Danger in American Life H Hampden's Shylock Harvard Anti-Jewish Proclamation Harvest Service Has the League of Nations Functioned? Have We Not One Father? Hearings in Washington on the Lodge Resolution Hebrew Inscription in the Cemetery at Plymouth, Massachusetts Hebrew, Israelite, Jew Hermann Vogelstein Heroes of Service Hidden Faults and Presumptuous Sins Historical and the Mythological Jesus Hitler Terror Holiness of Beauty Home and the Modern City Home and the School Home Influence Human Brotherhood Humanity at the Crossways Humanist Movement Humanity's Melting Pot Humbler Singers Hyman Gerson Enelow I I Don't Care Ideal Teacher Ideas and Ideals of Education If A Man Die Shall He Live Again? If Lincoln Had Not Been Assassinated Immigrant Tide Impressions of Jewry in Southern France Improved Methods in Sunday School Work Individual Morality Individual Power and Responsibility Individual Responsibility Injustice to the Jew Inter Religious Harmony Inter Religious Mind Inter Religious Relationship Invocation Isaiah--The Prophet Israel, The International People Isaac M. Wise and the American Spirit J Jacob H. Schiff and the Bible Translation Jew Baiting Jewish American Reform Congregation Jewish Assimilation Jewish Ideas of the Messiah Jewish Leader Jewish Leadership Jewish Modern Reform Congregation Jewish Never Say Die Spirit Jewish Patriots of the American Revolution Jewish Responsibility Jewish Sage's Practical Philosophy Jews A Religious Group Not a Race Jews in Ibanez' Novels Jews in the Roman Empire to the Time of Its Fall Joseph Krauskopf, Dreamer and Achiever Joseph Krauskopf, Friend and Classmate Judaism and Art Judaism and Christian Science Judaism and Christianity Judaism and Democracy Judaism and the Republican Form of Government Judaism in America K Kaddish Kishinoff Horror L Labor Problems League of Nations Lessons From the Flood Let Us Alone Liberal Judaism in the United States Liberty Under Law Lincoln and Wilson Looking Backward and Forward Love and Hatred Loyalty Past and Present "Loyalties" Versus "Right" M Majority Rule in a Democracy Man Made Differences and God Made Resemblances Men At Fault--Not God Message of Israel Message of Reform Judaism to American Israel and World Jewry Message of the Anniversary Message to Jews of Old Messianic Hope Moses Ezekiel Moses Mendelsohn, Pioneer of the Modern Jewish Era Music and Religion My creed As An American Jew My First Glimpse of Dr. Wise N Nannie Marks Grabfield Nazi Government and the Jews of Germany New Bible According to H.G. Wells New Year 1890-1927 O Older and the Younger Generation On the Heights Once a Catholic, Now a Rabbi One God and One Humanity One Hundred Percent Judaism Open Door in Religion Opening Address at Golden Jubilee Celebration of the Jewish Publication Society of America 1938 December 11 Opportunities of Liberty Organization and the Trusts Our America Our Heritage and Our Future Our Responsibility Outer Appearance, Inner Worth P Partisanship In Office Partners In a Spiritual Enterprise Passover the Feast of Freedom Past and Present Past Traditions and Present Duties Patriarch Abraham in Folklore Personal Contacts With the Founder Pesach 5662 -- 1902 April 22 Philanthropic Gifts a Restitution to Society of Its Own Pictures in the Synagogue Pittsburgh Rabbinical Conference 1885 November Plastic Age Plymouth and the Pilgrim Fathers Practical Side of Judaism Prejudices, the Stumbling Blocks in the Path of Progress Present Duty of the American Jewish Reform Congregation Present Non-Zionist Attitude Toward Palestine Progressives Prophet Elijah in Folklore Proposed Statement--American Council for Judaism Public School and the American Spirit Public Schools As Character Builders Pulpit and the State Q Quest of the Ideal R Rabbi and Congregation Rabbinical Charge Rabbinical Confession of Faith Racial Fallacies Reactions to the German Jewish Situation Real and the Superficial Realities of Life Reflections on New Year's Eve Reform Judaism Reform Judaism and Zionism Reform Judaism's Message Reform Movement in Judaism Reformed Judaism in the United States Reformer of a Century Ago Regular Sermon Religion and Evolution Religious Liberty Religious Message Religious Protest in Germany Remedy for Religious Indifference Renewal of Spiritual Strength Restfulness of Soul Retrospect and Prospect Revaluation of Reform Judaism Rosh Hashanah 1889; 1905; 1926; 1930; 1932; 1933; 1938 Roosevelt Inaugural and the Hitler Triumph S Sacred and Secular Scapegoat School of Religion at the University of Iowa Seeing Life Service of Half a Century Shall Jews and Non-Jews Intermarry? Shall Jews Organize? Significance of Faith Significant One Hundredth Anniversary Simon Wolf--The Jew and American Social Centers Social Justice and the Labor Problem Some Religious Training in Judaism Song of Hope Song By the Sea Soul of Good in Things Evil Spirit of Brotherhood Spirit of Joy Spiritual Heroes Spinoza Standards--Single, Double, and Other Statement of Aims and Purposes of the Commission on Jewish Religious Educational Literature Story of Youth Strange Ethiopian Jewish Sect--The Falashas Struggle Against Religious Prejudice Struggle Is Blessing Study on Humanity Synogogue and Social Service T Thanksgiving Sermon Thou Shalt Not Tribute of Silence Through Difficulties to the Stars Training of Character Truth Is Stranger Than Fiction U Undying Hope Undying Youthful Spirit of the Constitution Union and Kindred Organizations Universal Prayer Universalism of Judaism Up From Nature W Washington and Lincoln Washington and Religious Liberty Washington Conference and Washington's Farewell Address Washington's Contact with Jews What About Palestine? What Is Reform Judaism? What Makes A Thing Jewish? What The Jewish Religious School Teacher Should Know? Who Was The Prophet? Why Yom Kippur? Will to Power and the Moral Laws Winning Palestine Without Losing America Wise's Keen Insight Into Human Nature Woman and the Congregation Woman's Sphere World Court World Without Jews World's Challenge to the Jews Worship of Bigness Y Yom Kippur 1901; 1919 Youth of the Nation Z Zangwillian Upheaval