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01594--Wise, Isaac Mayer


Wise, Isaac Mayer (1819–1900). The father of American Reform Judaism. He arrived from Germany in 1846 and went on to found the Union of American Hebrew Congregations (renamed Union of Reform Judaism in 2003), Hebrew Union College, and the Central Conference of American Rabbis. He was the editor of the Jewish newspaper The Israelite (later named The American Israelite) and the German-Jewish newspaper Die Deborah. Wise was not a radical reformer, though he did introduce mixed seating and rejected the use of traditional head coverings and prayer shawls for men in the Temple. Yochanan ben Zakkai was one of the leading sages at the time of the destruction of the Second Temple (70 C.E.). According to Rabbinic lore, he was spirited out of Jerusalem in the final stages of the Roman siege. He secured permission from Rome to establish what became the seed of Rabbinic Judaism at Yavneh. 

Courtesy: Professor Shai Cherry

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