A Finding Aid to the
Morton C. Fierman Papers
ACCESS AND PROVENANCE
The Morton C. Fierman Papers were donated to the American Jewish Archives by Morton C. Fierman in 1953, 1982, 1989 and 1991. Additional material was donated by Isabel Fierman in 2001-2002. All property rights are assigned to the American Jewish Archives. Literary rights to materials authored by Rabbi Fierman are held by him. 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 Morton C. Fierman Papers are open to all users and available in the reading room of the American Jewish Archives
BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH top
Morton Charles Fierman was born January 26, 1914 in Ohio. He received his B.A. from Western Reserve University (now Case-Western Reserve University). He received his B.H.L. and M.H.L. from Hebrew Union College, his M.A. from Tulsa University and his Ed. D. from Arizona State University. He also received a D.D. (honoris causa) from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, where he was ordained a Rabbi in 1941.
Fierman served as a chaplain during World War II. He entered the service as a captain and was assigned to the 8th Fighter Command Headquarters, 8th Air Force in England from 1943-1945. It was during this time that he met James Parkes, Christian minister and leading authority on Christian-Jewish relations in Britian. This friendship led Fierman to study Parkes’s writings and teach classes about his theology.
Fierman was honorably discharged on February 10, 1946 in San Antonio, Texas. After the war he served as a rabbi for congregations in Washington, D.C., Kansas City, MO, Tulsa, OK, Phoenix, AZ, and Westminster, CA. From 1957-1963 he was rabbi of Temple Beth Sholom of Orange County, Santa Ana, CA.
In 1963, he became Professor of Religious Studies at California State University-Fullerton. He taught seminars on the theology of James Parkes, Abraham Joshua Heschel, Leo Baeck, and Martin Buber, as well as classes on the Hebrew Prophets and Psalms. His study of Heschel led him to create a Seminar Paper Series concerning Heschel's theology. This series was turned into a book, Leap of Action: Ideas on the Theology of Abraham Joshua Heschel, in 1990.
In 1985 he received the “Lifetime Contributions to Jewish Education” Award. He retired from teaching in 1981.
He married Isabel Dorothy Block on July 12, 1942. They had one son, Nathan who was born in 1947. Fierman’s brother, Floyd Fierman, was also a rabbi. Fierman died on November 7, 1995.
SCOPE AND CONTENT NOTE top
The MORTON C. FIERMAN PAPERS relate to the professional career of Morton Charles Fierman, who was a professor at California State University-Fullerton and a rabbi of several Reform congregations. Included are course syllabi and resource materials from classes he taught, scrapbooks and correspondence relating to his chaplaincy in World War II, as well as his sermons and other writings.
The collection is arranged into five (5) series:
A. EDUCATIONAL MATERIAL
B. MILITARY CHAPLAINCY
C. RABBINICAL MATERIAL
D. PUBLISHED WRITINGS
SERIES A. EDUCATIONAL MATERIAL. This series consists of course syllabi, lectures and notes, resources used, and some student papers. The syllabi include courses pertaining to Abraham Joshua Heschel, Martin Buber, James Parkes and Leo Baeck. The series span dates are 1965-1979.
SERIES B. MILITARY CHAPLAINCY. This series spans the dates 1943-1945 and consists primarily of correspondence from parents of military sons and general military correspondence. Of note in the Miscellaneous folder is a listing of all the funerals that Fierman officiated and his separation papers from the army. The correspondence from parents of soldiers is also quite interesting, showing how he took the time to get to know his fellow Jewish soldiers. The correspondence is arranged alphabetically by last name. Also included are two scrapbooks that contain photographs of Fierman’s time in the army as well as programs, newspapers, and postcards from the same time period.
SERIES C. RABBINICAL MATERIAL. This series primarily consists of sermons from High Holydays as well as Friday and Sabbath services spanning the years 1938-1960. Of particular interest are radio broadcasts of sermons from 1946-1960. Also included in this series are marriage records of a couple’s biographical information from when he was a rabbi at Temple Beth Israel in Phoenix, AZ.
SERIES D. PUBLISHED WRITINGS. Consists primarily of his published writings. His published book, Leap of Action: Ideas in the Theology of Abraham Joshua Heschel (1990) and various Resource Guides for 7th-9th grades that he authored are included in this series. Also contained in this series are some of his published articles. The span dates for this series are 1970-1989.
SERIES E. CORRESPONDENCE. This series consists of correspondence from James Parkes and Abraham Joshua Heschel discussing scholarly activities. Also included are various business related letters revolving around Fierman’s knowledge of Parkes’s theology and some personal letters (mainly greeting cards) exchanged with his wife, Isabel. Correspondence from Isabel’s father, Ben Bock, are also included in this series. There is also a folder containing family photographs. The date span for this series is 1903-1989.
BOX AND FOLDER LIST topBox Folder Contents SERIES A. EDUCATIONAL MATERIAL 1 1 RelSt 485. Heschel Seminar Transcriptions, Part 1. Fall 1973. 2 RelSt 485. Heschel Seminar Transcriptions, Part 2. Fall 1973. 3 Syllabi. RelSt 485. Heschel Seminar, Part 1. Fall 1979. 4 Syllabi. RelSt 485. Heschel Seminar, Part 2. Fall 1979. 5 Syllabi. Several Worlds of Abraham Joshua Heschel. n.d. 6 Transcription. RelSt 485. Heschel Seminar. January 1973. 7 Syllabi. RelSt 333. Hebrew Prophets. Aims and Goals. July 1973. 8 Syllabi. Prophets of Israel. October 1968. 9 Syllabi. Worlds of Martin Buber. February 1975. 10 Syllabi. Philosophy and Theology of Martin Buber. n.d. 11 Syllabi. RelSt 434B. The Psalms, Part 1. January 1977. 12 Syllabi. RelSt 434B. The Psalms, Part 2. January 1977. 13 Syllabi. RelSt 434B. The Psalms, Part 3. January 1977. 2 1 Syllabi. James Parkes Seminar. July 1976. 2 Syllabi. RelSt 495. Internship Program. April 1979. 3 Syllabi. RelSt 380. Interreligious Relationships. June 1979. 4 Syllabi. Ed 401. Social Foundations of Education. November 1969. 5 Syllabi. Theology of Leo Baeck. Fall 1974. 6 Syllabi. Ed 561. Organization and Administration of School Systems. Fall 1967 7 Syllabi. Ed 301. Spring 1965. 8 Syllabi. Heschel, Buber, Baeck: Great Twentieth Century Thinkers of Judaism. February 1974. 9 Syllabi. Ed 401. Social Foundations of Education. September 1971. 10 Syllabi. Philosophical Foundations of Religious Education. n.d. 11 Syllabi. Basic Judaism (Proposed Course). 1969. 12 Syllabi. Hist 301. American Jewish History. Fall 1963. 13 Syllabi. Various Education classes taught by Fierman. Fall 1963. 14 Syllabi. Department of Religious Studies courses (not including Fierman classes). Fall 1979. 15 Annual Report. Department of Religious Studies. California State University-Fullerton. 1973-1980. 3 1 Lectures. Youth and Adolescence. April 1967. 2 Lectures. Creativity-A Consideration. October 1967. 3 Lecture Notes. July 1969. 4 Lecture Notes. RelSt 485. November 1974. 5 Lecture Notes. Jeremiah. 1972-1973. 6 Lecture Notes. Teaching the Prophets. n.d. 7 Resource Material. Theology of Leo Baeck. July 1974. 8 Resource Material. Hebrew Prophets, Part 1. 1968. 9 Resource Material. Hebrew Prophets, Part 2. 1968. 10 Resource Material. RelSt 333. Hebrew Prophets, Part 1. n.d. 11 Resource Material. RelSt 333. Hebrew Prophets, Part 2. n.d. 12 Resource Material. RelSt 485. James Parkes Seminar. Fall 1975. 4 1 Student Papers. RelSt 485. James Parkes Seminar, Oral Reports Vol I, Part 1. Fall 1975. 2 Student Papers. RelSt 485. James Parkes Seminar Oral Reports, Vol. I, Part 2. Fall 1975. 3 Student Papers. RelSt 485. James Parkes Seminar Book Reviews/Papers, Vol. II, Part 1. Fall 1975. 4 Student Papers. RelSt 485. James Parkes Seminar Book Reviews/Papers, Vol. II, Part 2. Fall 1975. 5 Student Papers. James Parkes Seminar. Meaning of Torah Oral Report. Fall 1976. 6 Student Papers. James Parkes Seminar. Oral Reports. Fall 1977. 7 Student Papers. Hebrew Prophets Term Projects. December 1973. 8 Student Papers. RelSt 333. Hebrew Prophets Mid-term Study Questions. 1969-1979. 9 Student Papers. Hebrew Prophets Term Projects. Spring 1972. 10 Student Papers. RelSt 333. Hebrew Prophets Final Exam Study Questions. 1972-1977. 11 Student Papers. Hebrew Prophets Glossaries. December 1973. 12 Student Papers. Hebrew Prophets Term Projects. May 1973. 13 Student Papers. RelSt 485. Study Questions. Fall 1976. 14 Student Papers. RelSt 486. n.d. 15 Student Papers. RelSt 486. Final Exam Questions. Spring 1979. 16 Student Papers. RelSt 333. Permission to offset. Spring 1975. SERIES B. MILITARY CHAPLAINCY 5 1 Correspondence. A-H. 1942-1945. 2 Correspondence. I-Z. 1943-1945. 3 Correspondence from Parents. A-L. 1943-1945. 4 Correspondence from Parents. M-Z. 1943-1945. 5 Speeches. 1943-1944. 6 Miscellaneous Papers. 1943-1946. 7 Photographs. 1943-1944. *6 1 Scrapbook. 1944 2 Scrapbook. 1943-1945 SERIES C. RABBINICAL MATERIAL 7 1 Radio Broadcasts. 1946-1947. 2 Radio Broadcasts. Part 1. 1950-1951. 3 Radio Broadcasts. Part 2. 1948-1950. 4 Radio Broadcasts. Part 1. 1959. 5 Radio Broadcasts. Part 2. 1960. 6 Radio Broadcasts. Vol. II. January-February 1960. 7 Marriage Records. Temple Beth Israel, Phoenix, AZ. 1945-1955. 8 Sermons. High Holydays. 1938-1950. 8 1 Sermons. Friday Evening Services, Part 1. 1956-1957. 2 Sermons. Friday Evening Services, Part 2. 1957. 3 Sermons. Friday Evening Services, Part 1. 1957. 4 Sermons. Friday Evening Services, Part 2. 1957. 5 Sermons. Friday Evening Services, Part 1. 1958. 6 Sermons. Friday Evening Services, Part 2. 1958. 7 Sermons. Friday Evening Services, Part 3. 1958. 9 1 Sermons. Sabbath Services, Part 1. 1954-1955. 2 Sermons. Sabbath Services, Part 2. 1952-1954. 3 Invocations/Benedictions. 1975-1978. 4 Special Services. 1965, 1975. 5 Addresses. n.d. SERIES D. PUBLISHED WRITINGS 9 6 Copyright Requests. 1970. 7 Resource Material. Leap of Action. n.d. 8 Draft. Leap of Action. Chapters 1,7,9,13. 1987. 9 Draft No. 1. Leap of Action. Chapters 1-3. n.d. 10 Draft No. 1. Leap of Action. Chapters 4-9. n.d. 11 Draft No. 1. Leap of Action. Chapters 10-16. n.d. 10 1 Draft No. 2. Leap of Action. Chapters 1-6. n.d. 2 Draft No. 2. Leap of Action. Chapters 7-12. n.d. 3 Draft No. 2. Leap of Action. Chapters 13-16, Index. n.d. 4 Manuscript Copy. Leap of Action. Part 1. 1989. 5 Manuscript Copy. Leap of Action. Part 2. 1989. 6 Manuscript Copy. Leap of Action. Part 3. 1989. 7 Draft. Resource Units for Holydays and Festivals, Part 1. n.d. 8 Draft. Resource Units for Holydays and Festivals, Part 2. n.d. 9 Resource Units for Holydays and Festivals. 1970. 11 1 Resource Unit on Chanuko. n.d. 2 Resource Unit on the Sabbath. Part 1. n.d. 3 Resource Unit on the Sabbath. Part 2. n.d. 4 Resource Unit on the Sabbath. Part 3. n.d. 5 Resource Unit on the Sabbath. Errata. n.d. 6 Far Western Philosophy of Education Society Meeting. 1963-1965. 7 Far Western Philosophy of Education Society Meeting. 1967, 1970. 8 Article. California State University-Fullerton. 1965-1975. 9 Article. Theology of Abraham Joshua Heschel. n.d. 10 Article. In Record. 1968-1969. 11 Article. On Abraham Joshua Heschel Theology. 1974-1985. 12 The Existentialist Counselor at Work. n.d. 12 1 List of Addresses. n.d. 2 Miscellaneous Binder. Articles, Part 1. n.d. 3 Miscellaneous Binder. Course Outlines, Part 2. n.d. 4 Various Speeches. 1953, 1967. 5 Draft. Seminar Paper Series No. 17 with critique by Samson Levy. March 1978. 6 Draft. Seminar Papers Series Nos. 13, 17, 37. 1976-1981. 7 Draft. Various papers, Part 1. n.d. 8 Draft. Various papers, Part 2. n.d. 9 Festschrift in honor of Morton Fierman. 1982. 10 Retirement Reception and Award. 1981, 1985. 11 Fierman Poems. n.d. SERIES E. CORRESPONDENCE 13 1 James and Dorothy Parkes. 1944, 1959, 1974-1976. 2 James and Dorothy Parkes. 1976-1982. 3 James Parkes 80th Birthday Commemoration. 1975-1976. 4 James Parkes Resolutions on his behalf. 1976. 5 Photographs. James Parkes. n.d. 6 International Council of Christians and Jews. 1976-1977. 7 Southampton University, Southampton, England. 1975-1976. 8 Southampton University, Southampton, England. 1976-1977. 9 Sidney Sugarman. 1975. 10 Abraham Joshua Heschel. 1968-1973. 11 General Correspondence. 1966-1976. 12 Book Order Requests. 1988-1989. 13 Hebrew Union College. 1975. 14 Various Librarians. 1976. 15 Samuel Gross. 1976. 16 To James Parkes from Deborah Gendron. 1976-1977. 17 Bernard Martin, editor of CCAR Journal with article. 1976. 18 Summer 1978 Correspondence. 19 Fall 1978 Correspondence. 20 California State University-Fullerton. 1970-1972. 21 Anti-Defamation League of Bnai Brith. 1973-1974. 14 1 Isabel Fierman. 1957, n.d. 2 To Isabel Fierman from Nathan and Susan Fierman. 1957, 1970, n. d. 3 To Isabel Fierman from Aunts Blanche Jacobs and Rose Block. 1963-1966. 4 Report of Service to the Blind by Isabel Fierman. 1960- 1963. 5 To Isabel, Morton, and Nathan Fierman from Family. 1966, n.d. 6 To Isabel Fierman from John Muir School. 1970. 7 To Isabel and Morton Fierman from Dad (Ben Block) Fragments. n.d. 8 To Isabel and Morton Fierman from Dad (Ben Block). 1962-1966. 9 Various friends. 1961-1974, n.d. 10 Block Family Material. 1952, 1962, n.d. 11 Fierman Family Photographs. 1903-1957. *X-487top
Copyright © 2006 The Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives