In this absorbing biography, author Bruce Ruben incorporates the research and writing that has accrued over the years pertaining to one of the central icons of nineteenth century Reform Judaism. Dr. Max Lilienthal was an academically and rabbinically trained Orthodox rabbi who was charged with introducing modern Hebrew into the ultra-Orthodox shtetlech of the Pale of Settlement. Lilienthal tried in vain to convince his coreligionists of the relevance of modernization but eventually saw that his future lay elsewhere. Newly married and eager to teach the principles of Judaism, he moved to New York City in 1845 as Chief Rabbi of three Orthodox congregations. As the burgeoning Jewish community moved westward, so did Lilienthal, who led an active rabbinic and pedagogic life in Cincinnati, Ohio as a Reform rabbi. This scholarly work should be of interest to college and university students and is recommended for academic library collections. Bibliography, index.
Morton Merowitz holds degrees from Yeshiva University, the Dropsie College for Hebrew and Cognate Learning, and the State University of New York at Buffalo. He was involved in Jewish education for some ten years and currently reviews non-fiction literature which may be of interest and relevance to students and teachers of Jewish studies.