A Finding Aid to the
Joseph Rauch Papers
Manuscript Collection No. 91
1900-1957. 5.2 Linear ft.
The JOSEPH RAUCH PAPERS were donated to the American Jewish Archives by Etta Rauch, the wife of Joseph Rauch, in October, 1959. In 1961 and 1964 Mrs. Rauch presented additional supplements of her husband's papers to the Archives. In April, 1980 another supplement of the Joseph Rauch papers were presented to the Archives by Mrs. Aimee Helen Katz, executor of the estate of Etta Rauch. Property rights have been assigned to the American Jewish Archives. All literary rights to materials authored by Dr. Rauch are held by the Rauch heirs. Literary rights to materials authored by others are held by the individual author or his/her heirs. Questions concerning rights should be addressed to the Director of the American Jewish Archives. The JOSEPH RAUCH PAPERS are open to all users. The original manuscript collection is available in the reading room of the American Jewish Archives.
BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH top
Joseph Rauch was born in Podhajce, Galicia, Austria on December 25, 1880. Little is known of his childhood in Austria, but it is known that his family came to the United States ahead of him and that Rauch traveled alone to the United States to meet them when he was 12. They settled in Galveston, Texas, where Rauch lived in an atmosphere that was radically different from that of the Eastern Seaboard where most immigrant Jews settled. Later in his life Rauch would comment that he felt his childhood in Texas gave him a perspective on American life that other immigrants, who lived in the East, were unable to obtain. Rauch and his family eventually moved to Cincinnati, Ohio, where he studied at the University of Cincinnati and the Hebrew Union College, and was ordained a rabbi in 1905. Rauch continued his studies in later years at the University of Chicago, Columbia University, Cambridge University in England and the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary where he earned a Doctor of Theology degree. In 1944, the Hebrew Union College awarded him with an honorary Doctor of Philosophy degree. Following his ordination in 1905, Rauch moved to Sioux City, Iowa to become rabbi of Mt. Sinai Temple. He remained there until April, 1912 when he accepted a call to become rabbi at Congregation Adath Israel in Louisville, Kentucky, where he remained for 44 years, until his death in 1957. In 1942 the congregation, as part of the 30th anniversary celebration of his rabbinate in Louisville, elected him rabbi for life. Also, in 1953, the congregation decided to name the chapel in their newly built education building in his honor. Throughout his career Rauch was a tireless participant in organizational and civic activities. He was active in the Central Conference of American Rabbis, serving on the executive committee and serving as chairman of the CCAR's Special Publication Committee. Rauch was also a founding member of the World Union for Progressive Judaism in 1926, delivering the inaugural sermon at the WUPJ's founding. he also gave the principal address at the WUPJ's 25th anniversary and was the first honorary life member elected by the organization. In addition, Rauch was active in many other major organizations, including the Jewish Welfare Board, the YMHA, the International Prison Congress and the Hebrew Union College Alumni Association, of which he served as president. In Louisville, Rauch, in 1918, was an organizer of the Louisville Federation of Social Agencies. In 1922 he became a member of the Louisville Free Public Library Board of Trustees, served 18 consecutive terms as president and led a successful drive to end segregation in the Library system. Rauch was also a member of the University of Louisville's Board of Trustee from 1933-1946 and served on numerous other local committees and organizations. Rauch was very active in inter-faith work, often preaching in Protestant pulpits and always striving for better understanding and communication between Christians and Jews. Rauch travelled often, crossing the Atlantic 57 times after his arrival in America. He also authored two books, The Origin and Development of the Apocalypse in the Bible and The Meaning of the Torah. Rauch was married to Etta Rosenfelder. He died on February 18, 1957, in Louisville, Kentucky.
SCOPE AND CONTENT NOTE top
The JOSEPH RAUCH PAPERS (1900-1957) document the career of Joseph Rauch, Reform rabbi, community leader and founding member of the World Union for Progressive Judaism. The bulk of the collection consists of sermons but also includes correspondence, congregational records, personal and miscellaneous items. The Papers have been organized into four series: A. SERMONS AND ADDRESSES B. CORRESPONDENCE C. CONGREGATIONAL RECORDS D. PERSONAL The SERMONS AND ADDRESSES series (1900-1956) consists of eight Hollinger boxes of sermons, addresses and lectures given by Rauch. The sermons in boxes 1-3 are arranged alphabetically by title. The sermons in boxes 4-8 are in ledgers that have been numbered and are arranged chronologically according to the first dated sermon in each ledger. Also included in this series are eulogies, statements of appreciation and prayers. The CORRESPONDENCE series (1907-1957) consists of one Hollinger box of letters arranged alphabetically by the name of the person or organization. The letters within the folders are arranged chronologically. The CONGREGATIONAL RECORDS series (1906-1956) consists of one Hollinger box of materials gathered by Rauch during his 44 year tenure as rabbi of Congregation Adath Israel in Louisville, Kentucky. The materials pertain to activities and organizations of the congregation but are in no way either the complete or official records of the congregation. The PERSONAL series (1913-1957) consists of four Hollinger boxes of items pertaining to Rauch's personal life and interests. Of particular interest are the diaries of Rauch's many trips abroad. Additional items were separated from the JOSEPH RAUCH PAPERS for placement in appropriate special files. Photographs albums of sermons and ceremonies involving Rauch have been placed in the flat files. Photographs from the Papers have been placed in the picture file.
BOX AND FOLDER LISTING top
Box Folder Contents SERIES A. SERMONS AND ADDRESSES Note: The sermons in boxes 1-3 are filed alphabetically according to title. The sermons in boxes 4-8 are in ledgers which have been numbered and are arranged chronologically according to the first dated sermon in each ledger. The span dates for each ledger are listed here. At the end of this series, after the sermons, are eulogies, statements of appreciation and prayers. 1 1 A 2 B 3 Ca-Cl 4 Co-Cr 5 D 6 E 7 F 8 G 9 Ha-he 10 Hi 11 Ho-Hu 2 1 I 2 J 3 K-L 4 M 5 N 6 O 7 Pa-Ph 8 Pl-Po 9 Pr-Pu 10 Q 11 Ra-Ref 12 Rel-Rev 13 Ri-Ru 3 1 Sa-Si 2 So-Sp 3 St-Sy 4 Ta-Th 5 To-Tw 6 U-V 7 W 8 Y-Z 9 Untitled 1905-1912 10 Untitled n.d. 4 -- Ledger 1 April 2, 1916-February 22, 1921 2 October 25, 1919-June 20, 1922 3 May 7, 1922-May 17, 1925 5 -- Ledger 4 June 9, 1925-September 22, 1930 5 September 6, 1930-September 30, 1933 6 March 26, 1932-December 6, 1935 7 May 26, 1932-October 9, 1934 6 -- 8 October 28, 1933-October 7, 1935 9 October 13, 1934-September 21, 1935 10 October 15, 1934-October 31, 1936 11 October 5, 1935-September 26, 1936 12 December 19, 1935-May 15, 1939 13 September 12, 1936-December 11, 1937 7 -- 14 October 9, 1936-March 19, 1938 15 September 5, 1937-September 27, 1944 16 March 29, 1946-November 27, 1955 17 September 25, 1946-September 19,1953 8 -- 18 November 27, 1946-January 25, 1951 19 September 7, 1952-February 5, 1956 20 September 27, 1954-September 15, 1956 21 June 26, 1956-December 11, 1956 1-2 Eulogies A-W 3 Statements of Appreciation : Memorials A-W 9 1 Prayers 1913-1955, n.d. SERIES B. CORRESPONDENCE Note: The correspondence within this series is arranged alphabetically by the name of the person or organization. The letters within the folders are arranged chronologically. 2 A-E, General 3 Central Conference of American Rabbis [Manual for Instruction of Proselytes] 1926-1927 4 Cincinnati [University of] 1953 5 Committee on the Referendum for Budgeting 1941 6 G-K, General 7 Jerusalmi, Isaac 1953 8 Jewish Chautauqua Society 9 L-R, General 10 Montagu, Lily H. 1949-1957 11 National Conference of Christians and Jews 1955-1956 12 S-U, General 13 Southern Council on International Relations 1947, n.d. 14 Universal Jewish Encyclopedia 1941 15 World Union for Progressive Judaism 1937-1956 16 Unidentified 1909-1919, n.d. SERIES C. CONGREGATIONAL RECORDS - Louisville, Ky. - Congregation Adath Israel 10 1-6 Bible Study Class 1923-1929, n.d. 7-12 Confirmation 1917-1956, n.d. 13 Holiday and Special Services [B-S] 1927-1951, n.d. 14 Rauch, Joseph - Appreciation Night 1945 15 Religious School 1922-1956, n.d. 16 Miscellaneous 1906-1949, n.d. SERIES D. PERSONAL Note: This series contains items dealing with Joseph Rauch's personal life. Included in this series are items pertaining to subjects of importance to Rauch, such as education and young people. Also included are records of funeral and marriage ceremonies performed by Rauch during his ministry. The items are arranged alphabetically according to title or subject, and the materials within the folders are arranged chronologically. 1 Appointment Book 1924 2 Crusade for Children 1956-1957 3 Funeral Records 1921-1952 4 Last Will and Testament 1955 5 Marriage Records 1941-1957 6-7 Midcentury White House Conference on Children and Youth 1950 8 Notes 9 Religious Education 1916-1941, n.d. 12 1-5 Travel Diaries 1913; 1933-1936 13 1-3 Travel Diaries 1936-1938; 1949 4 Personal Miscellaneous 1926-1957, n.d. 5 Clippings 6 Miscellaneous 1922-1956, n.d.
SUBJECT TRACINGS top
Note: The following list of subjects is a selective index to many of the topics and individuals in the JOSEPH RAUCH 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., 2/13 means Box 2, Folder 13. Alexander, Jerome 9/2 Anti-Semitism 1/1, 10 Berkowits, Henry J. 9/3 Blaustein, Jacob 9/5 Brandeis, Louis D. « Brickner, Barnett R. 9/10 Church Peace Union 9/2 Central Conference of American Rabbis- Commission on Jewish Education 11/8 Education 1/6; 2/2; 3/1; 11/5 Eisendrath, Maurice N. 9/10 Hebrew Sheltering and Immigrant Aid Society 9/6 Hebrew Union College 9/12 Isserman, Ferdinand M. 9/15 Krock, Arthur 9/6 Ku Klux Klan 2/3 Marcus, Jacob R. 9/2 Mattuck, Israel 9/9 Montagu, Lily H. 9/15 Nazism 1/8; 2/3 Russia 1/4; 2/13; 3/5, 8 Schulman, Samuel 9/3, 12 Wolsey, Louis 9/3 Zangwill, Israel 3/8 Zionism 1/4; 2/9; 3/8