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Entries : Emil Gustav Hirsch
Emil Gustav Hirsch

Emil Gustav Hirsch

Emil Gustav Hirsch came to the United States from Luxembourg in 1866. He received a Ph.D. from Leipzig University in 1876 and was ordained as rabbi. Himself a rabbi's son, Hirsch married a rabbi's daughter, Matilda Einhorn, in 1878. After serving congregations in Baltimore and Louisville, he led the Chicago Sinai Congregation from 1880 to 1923 and built it into the largest in Chicago. By 1900, Hirsch was rabbi for life and was the highest paid clergyman in the United States. In addition to being the founding director of the Jewish Manual Training School, he became founding editor of Reform Advocate in 1891 and was the first University of Chicago professor of rabbinical philosophy and literature by 1892. Hirsch authored several religious monographs and his honorary degrees included Hebrew Union College.

Hirsch advocated social justice, religious reforms, and attention to the plight of Russian Jews. Although Hirsch was a non-Zionist, he extended Sinai's pulpit to Louis Brandeis. Six thousand mourned at his funeral.