Sabbath of Rabbi Isaac Mayer Wise

Sabbath of Rabbi Isaac Mayer Wise

Last Sabbath in March
Isaac Mayer Wise (1819-1900), a prominent American rabbi, is generally considered the pioneer of Reform Judaism in America. In 1875 he founded the Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati for the training of rabbis and was its president until his death. Wise also helped organize the Union of American Hebrew Congregations in 1873 and the Central Conference of American Rabbis in 1889.
Reform Judaism began in Germany during the European Age of Enlightenment in the 18th century, when some Jews were struggling to reconcile their traditional beliefs with modern thought and learning. Reform Jews abandoned many ancient ceremonial traditions and stressed ethical teachings over ritualistic observance. Rabbi Wise was the leader who brought these reforms to the United States. Adherents to Reform Judaism honor both the birth and death of Rabbi Wise on the last Sabbath in the month of March.
CONTACTS:
Union for Reform Judaism
633 Third Ave.
New York, NY 10017
212-650-4000; fax: 212-650-4169
www.urj.org
SOURCES:
RelHolCal-2004, p. 57