Roosevelt was very popular with American Jews in his day, and revered by many of them until they died. He won more than 80 percent of the Jewish vote in all four of his successful campaigns, surrounded himself with Jewish advisers, and was denounced by Hitler’s propagandists as himself a Jew. FDR...
Roosevelt was very popular with American Jews in his day, and revered by many of them until they died. He won more than 80 percent of the Jewish vote in all four of his successful campaigns, surrounded himself with Jewish advisers, and was denounced by Hitler’s propagandists as himself a Jew. FDR brought thousands of Jewish professionals into government, prevented Hitler from overrunning Britain and Palestine (thus saving their large Jewish populations), chose to fight Germany first after the United States was attacked by Japan, and paved the way for New York’s first Jewish governor and senator.
The United Hebrew Congregation, founded in St. Louis in 1837, a mere fifteen years after the incorporation of the City of St. Louis, is the first Jewish congregation to be established in St. Louis and is the oldest west of the Mississippi River. It was the twentieth synagogue in the United States. The ancient ritual of the Jewish people in the form of a “minyan” (or Jewish prayer meeting) likely made its St. Louis debut on Rosh Hashanah eve, 1837. The chief organizers of the minyan were Abraham Weigel and Nathan Abeles, who were to become the first president and secretary of the United Hebrew Congregation, when it was legally organized four years later on October 3, 1841.
Samuel Thurman was born in Russia, came to America as a child and grew up in Boston. He became rabbi at the United Hebrew Congregation in 1914, and served the congregation there until he died in 1963 at the age of eighty.
Typed letter signed, on White House letterhead, Washington, January 10, 1939, to Rabbi Thurman. “Dear Rabbi Thurman: I congratulate you and the United Hebrew Congregation upon the happy occasion of the hundredth anniversary of its establishment. I trust that the celebration will be an enjoyable event and one which will inspire all who participate with new zeal and new enthusiasm to uphold the highest ideals of the ancient teaching of Israel.”
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