Arthur Hertzberg

Hertzberg, Arthur, 1921–2006, American rabbi, scholar, and Jewish community leader, b. Poland. His family emigrated to the United States in 1926. He attended Johns Hopkins, the Jewish Theological Seminary (grad. 1943), and Columbia (Ph.D., 1946). Rabbi of Temple Emanu-El, Englewood, N.J. (1956–85) and a noted leader of Conservative Judaism, he also taught at several colleges and served as president of the American Jewish Congress (1972–78) and vice president of the World Jewish Congress (1975–91). Hertzberg was known for his generally liberal and often contrarian political and religious views and for his strong support of civil rights. A committed Zionist, editor of The Zionist Idea (1959, repr. 1970, 1972, 1997), he nonetheless frequently criticized Israeli policies and favored a separate Palestinian state. His numerous books include The French Enlightenment and the Jews (1968), The Jews in America (1989), Jews: The Essence and Character of a People (1998), and a memoir, A Jew in America (2002).

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