TABLE OF CONTENTS
Manuscript Collection No. 818
Funding, in part, for the arrangement and description of this collection was provided by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.
Born in Cincinnati in 1913, Aaron Wise graduated from the University of Cincinnati and was ordained by the Jewish Theological Seminary in 1938. For the first nine years of his rabbinate he served as rabbi of the Nott Terrace Synagogue in Schenectady, New York where he had a weekly radio broadcast. In 1947 he helped found Adat Ari El in North Hollywood, California, a congregation he served for the next fifty-two years. Wise developed the synagogue’s school, community education programs and facilities, and even co-designed the chapel’s stained glass windows in 1949. Under his guidance, the synagogue gained a national reputation for its pioneering adult education classes, its Darshanim program that offered lay congregants the opportunity to explain the weekly Torah reading during Saturday morning services, and its commitment to equal status for women. In 1986, the synagogue became the first major Conservative congregation to hire a woman as a pulpit rabbi.
Active in social causes, Wise marched with Martin Luther King Jr. in the South and was an early opponent of the war in Vietnam. He helped create the San Fernando Valley's first Jewish day camp and nursery school, and was a leader in establishing the West Coast branch of the University of Judaism. After his retirement from the rabbinate, Wise co-created and taught the 10-week university course "Making Marriage Work", in which engaged and newly married couples learned to cope with the difficulties of married life by working with trained counselors. Nearly 6,000 people completed the program with only a 9% divorce rate.
Wise also served as president of the Southern California Board of Rabbis and was a member of the executive counsel of the Rabbinical Assembly of America. He and his wife Miriam had three children. Wise died in 1999.
Collection consisting almost entirely of sermons. Includes one folder of personal miscellaneous items (clippings, etc.) and one folder of student notebooks.
This collection is arranged in a single series.
Terms of Access and Use
This collection is 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
Miriam Wise, by the act of donating this collection to the American Jewish Archives, assigned all property rights to the American Jewish Archives. Literary rights are retained by the Wise family or their heirs. Literary rights may also be retained by specific creators of some 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 Aaron Wise Papers and the American Jewish Archives. A suggestion for at least the first citation is as follows:
[Description], [Date], Box #, Folder #. MS-818. Aaron Wise Papers. American Jewish Archives, Cincinnati, Ohio.
The Aaron Wise Papers were received from Miriam Wise, Los Angeles, Calif. in October, 2007.
Processed by Kevin Proffitt, September, 2011.
This collection was arranged and described according to minimal-processing standards. Funding, in part, for the arrangement and description of this collection was provided by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.
No further accruals are expected to this collection.
The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the American Jewish Archives's online catalog.
Adat Ari El Synagogue (Los Angeles, California)
United States. National Historical Publications and Records Commission
Jewish sermons, American