TABLE OF CONTENTS
Manuscript Collection No. 672
Ernst Mordecai Lorge was born in Mainz, Germany on May 26, 1915, the son of Maurice and Hedwig (Steinweg) Lorge. Lorge began his general and rabbinical studies in Frankfort, Germany, where he became the leader of the United Jewish Youth Movement. In 1936 Lorge was awarded a scholarship for studies in the United States by the World Student Service. He came to Cincinnati, Ohio, where he graduated from the University of Cincinnati with a Bachelor of Arts with honors. In 1942 he received a Master's degree from Hebrew Union College. In the same year he was also ordained as a rabbi at HUC and was awarded the Simon Lazarus Prize for highest academic standing.
During World War II, Lorge enlisted as a chaplain in the U.S. Army, attaining the rank of captain. Serving in England, France, Belgium and Germany, Lorge was active in the rehabilitation of displaced persons and was a member of the first unit to liberate Jews at the Buchenwald concentration camp. For this service Lorge was one of the first Jewish chaplains decorated for conspicuous service. He received the Bronze Star and several other commendations. During the Korean war Lorge was recalled into the chaplaincy and served two years as head chaplain at the Reception Center at Fort Sheridan, Illinois.
In the years before and after his service in World War II, Lorge was the rabbi at Temple Israel and director of the Hillel Foundation at Florida State College in Tallahassee. In 1947 Lorge became the rabbi at Temple Beth Israel in Chicago, where he remained until his retirement in 1985 and was then named Rabbi Emeritus.
Lorge was active in religious and communal affairs throughout his career, including being a co-founder of the Chicago Commission on Race and Religion; serving as president of the Chicago chapter of the Labor Zionist Alliance, the Chicago Association of Reform Rabbis, and the Chicago Board of Rabbis; director of the Chicago Board of Education; Jewish delegate to the Department of Public Welfare, State of Illinois; a board member of the American Reform Zionist Association; a governor of the Jewish War Veterans; and a board member of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations.
Lorge was appointed by President Kennedy to serve on the Race Relations Advisory Committee and was active in civil rights causes. He received an award for his participation with the Chicago Host Committee to the National Conference on Religion and Race "for successfully convening leaders of three major religious faiths to plan for elimination of racially restrictive practices in the country."
Lorge authored several stories in the book, Rabbis in Uniform: The Story of the Jewish Chaplain and contributed numerous articles to journals and magazines. He was also an instructor at the College of Jewish Studies in Chicago.
Ernst M. Lorge married Eudice Goldman on June 7, 1942. They had three children: Greta Lee, Susan Helen, and Michael Maurice.
Ernst M. Lorge died on February 24, 1990.
The Ernst M. Lorge papers are a compilation of selected correspondence, sermons, writings, notes, newsclippings, and other items of Rabbi Ernst M. Lorge, which were compiled and organized by his son, Michael M. Lorge. The papers reflect the range of Rabbi Lorge's activities: religious, professional, communal, and organizational. This collection documents the life and work of a significant figure in 20th century American Reform Judaism and of someone who was actively involved in the issues and concerns of his time and community, ranging from World War II to Zionism, to civil rights, up to events of the late 1980s.
The collection contains a significant amount of photocopies along with digital reproductions of certain documents and images. Original documents and photographs appear predominately in Union Camp Institute series.
This collection is arranged in five (5) series:
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.
Footnotes and bibliographic references should refer to the Ernst Mordecai Lorge Papers and the American Jewish Archives. A suggestion for at least the first citation is as follows:
[Description], [Date], Box #, Folder #. MS-672. Ernst Mordecai Lorge Papers. American Jewish Archives, Cincinnati, Ohio.
The Ernst M. Lorge papers were donated to the American Jewish Archives by Michael M. Lorge, Chicago, Ill., in 2001.
Processed by Kevin Proffitt, December 2001.
The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the AJA's online catalog.
Persons and Families
Lorge, Ernst Mordecai -- 1916-1990
Temple Beth Israel (Chicago, Ill.)
Union Institute Camp
Synagogues -- Illinois -- Chicago
Genres and Forms
Jewish sermons, American