TABLE OF CONTENTS
Manuscript Collection No. 103
Lou Hackett Silberman was born in San Francisco, California on June 23, 1914 to Lou Harry and Myrtle (Mueller) Silberman. He attended the University of California at Los Angeles from 1931 to 1933, then transferred to and graduated from the University of California at Berkeley in 1934 with an A.B. degree. Silberman then attended Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, Ohio, earning a B.H.L. degree in 1939, and M.H.L. degree and ordination as a rabbi in 1941, and a D.H.L. degree in 1943. Silberman later studied for a year at the University of Basel in 1959.
From 1941 to 1943, while he was working toward his D.H.L. degree, Silberman was an instructor of medieval Biblical exegesis at Hebrew Union College. Following the completion of his studies at HUC, Silberman moved to Dallas, Texas where he served as assistant rabbi at Temple Emanu-El until 1945. From Dallas he moved to Omaha, Nebraska to become rabbi at Temple Israel. He remained at Temple Israel until 1952 when he left the rabbinate to begin a new career in education as a professor of Jewish literature and thought at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee.
In 1955, Silberman was promoted from associate professor to the position of Hillel professor of Jewish literature and thought. Other offices Silberman held at Vanderbilt include, twice being director of graduate studies in the Biblical field, 1960-1965 and 1967-1969; and chairman of the department of religious studies, 1970-1977. Silberman was visiting professor at a number of colleges, including the Oriental Institute of the University of Vienna in 1965-1966; Carleton College in 1972; Emory University in 1973; and the University of Chicago Divinity School in 1978. He was a Rosenstiel fellow at Notre Dame University in 1972, a Touhy lecturer of interreligious studies at John Carroll University in 1973, and a visiting scholar at the Postgraduate Center of Hebrew Studies at Oxford University in 1978.
Silberman also belonged to the Society of Biblical Literature and Exegesis (president of the Southern section 1959-1960), the American Academy of Religion, the Central Conference of American rabbis, the Association for Jewish studies, and B'nai B'rith.
Silberman authored numerous publications dealing with such topics as the Dead Sea Scrolls, rabbinic literature, and contemporary theology. He contributed to the Encyclopedia Britannica, the Encyclopaeda Judaica and was an editorial advisor for the Encyclopedia International.
Silberman married Helen Sue Epstein on June 14, 1942. They had two children: Syrl Augusta and Deborah. Lou Silberman passed away on June 6, 2006 in Tucson, Arizona.
The Lou H. Silberman Papers (1934-2005) describe the career of Lou H. Silberman, educator and rabbi. The collection includes correspondence, sermons, prayers, notes, various addresses and notebooks.
This collection is arranged in two (2) series:
Terms of Access and Use
The Lou H. Silberman Papers are open to all users. The original manuscript collection is available in the Barrows-Loebelson Reading Room of the Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives.
Property and Literary Rights
Lou H. Silberman, by the act of donating the Lou H. Silberman Papers to the American Jewish Archives, assigned all property rights to the American Jewish Archives. Literary rights are retained by Lou H. Silberman and his heirs. Literary rights may also be retained by specific creators of materials.
Questions concerning rights should be addressed to the Executive Director of the American Jewish Archives. For more information see the American Jewish Archives copyright information webpage.
Footnotes and bibliographic references should refer to the Lou H. Silberman Papers and the American Jewish Archives. A suggestion for at least the first citation is as follows:
[Description], [Date], Box #, Folder #. MS-103. Lou H. Silberman Papers. American Jewish Archives, Cincinnati, Ohio.
The Lou H. Silberman Papers were received from Lou H. Silberman, Nashville, Tennessee in 1980; and from the Silberman family in 2006.
Processed by Kevin Proffitt, 1982. Additional processing by Elisa Ho, September 2011.
The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the AJA's online catalog.
Persons and Families
Silberman, Lou H.
National Community Relations Advisory Council (U.S.)
Temple Emanu-El (Dallas, Tex.)
Temple Israel (Omaha, Neb.)
Union of American Hebrew Congregations
United States. National Historical Publications and Records Commission
Jewish college teachers -- Tennessee -- Nashville
Jews -- Nebraska -- Omaha
Jews -- Tennessee -- Nashville
Jews -- Texas -- Dallas
Genres and Forms
Jewish sermons, American
Jewish educators -- Tennessee -- Nashville
Rabbis -- Tennessee -- Nashville