MORAIS, SABATO


MORAIS, SABATO
MORAIS, SABATO (1823–1897), U.S. minister-ḥazzan as his position was defined and founder of the jewish theological seminary . Morais, who was born in Leghorn, Italy, received his early Hebrew education from teachers in his community. At the age of 22, he applied for the position of assistant ḥazzan at the Spanish and Portuguese (Bevis Marks) congregation in London and in 1846 he became director of that congregation's orphan school. During his five years in England he learned much about Jewish life in an Anglo-Saxon environment, and established a friendship with moses montefiore and the Italian patriot Mazzini. In 1851 he arrived in the U.S. to become ḥazzan of Mikveh Israel congregation, the oldest congregation in Philadelphia (and one that exists until this day), succeeding Isaac Leeser. He was a pioneer in introducing adult education classes and supplemental religious schooling. He had a discretionary fund for the distribution of money to the poor. He served in this position until his death, 47 years later. He opposed slavery during the pre-Civil War period, much to the consternation of some of this congregants. He strove to unite the Sephardi and the Ashkenazi elements in the congregation, and later to help the Russian Jewish immigrants. Morais influenced many young men who became leaders of American Jewry, including cyrus adler , mayer sulzberger , and solomon solis-cohen . He was, in the words of Pamela Nadel, "a founder or a supporter, of nearly every Philadelphia philanthropy and institution," at a time when Philadelphia was a source of enormous Jewish creativity. He had a deep love for Jewish music and a great interest in Jewish scholarship, especially in Sephardi studies. He translated a work of S.D. Luzzatto and rendered the writings of other Italian Jewish scholars into English. He was involved in the revival of Hebrew and wrote prose and poetry and encouraged others to write in Hebrew. He published a commentary on the Book of Esther and translated Jeremiah that was the initial draft used in the 1917 Jewish Publication Society edition of the Bible. In 1887 he received an honorary LL.D. from the University of Pennsylvania, the first Jew to receive this distinction. He was a professor at Maimonides College, one of the early attempts to create a rabbinical seminary, from 1867–1873; many of its graduates later supported the Jewish Theological Seminary. Morais was neither an original thinker nor an incisive expositor but his earnestness and breadth of outlook enabled him to rally the forces of tradition that defined itself as "other than Reform" at a time when the drift was predominantly in the direction of Reform. At one stage he showed a readiness to cooperate with I.M. Wise in the work of Hebrew Union College, but the radical nature of the Pittsburgh Platform (1885) convinced him that a separate institution to train rabbis on Conservative lines was needed. He was the prime mover in the establishment of the Jewish Theological Seminary (1887) and was president of its faculty until his death, commuting from Philadelphia to New York. He helped shape the institution along the lines of the Breslau Seminary, meaning that candidates for the rabbinate would have both a secular and a religious education. -BIBLIOGRAPHY: M. Davis, in: AJHSP, 37 (1947), 55–93; idem, in: Sefer ha-Shanah li-Yhudei Amerikah (1945), 574–92; idem, Emergence of Conservative Judaism (1963), index; P. M Nadell, Conservative Judaism in America: A Biographical Dictionary and Sourcebook (1988). (Jack Reimer / Michael Berenbaum (2nd ed.)

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

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  • Morais, Sabato — (1823 97)    American rabbi. He was born in Livorno. At the age of 22 he became assistant hazzan to the Spanish and Portuguese congregation in London. In 1851 he became hazzan to the Mikveh Israel Congregation in Philadelphia. A leading opponent… …   Dictionary of Jewish Biography

  • Sabato Morais — est un rabbin italo américain du XIXe siècle (Livourne, 1823 Philadelphie, 1897). Partisan d’un judaïsme orthodoxe sensible à l’évolution des mœurs de l’époque, il est l’un des pionniers des études du judaïsme italien en Amérique et des… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Sabato Morais — (Leghorn, Italy, April 13, 1823 Philadelphia, PA, November 11, 1897) was an Italian American rabbi, leader of Mikveh Israel Synagogue, pioneer of Italian Jewish Studies in America, and founder of the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York City.… …   Wikipedia

  • Sabato — may refer to:* Sabato (river), a river in southern Italy * Sabato (Tenchi Muyo!), a fictional character in the Tenchi Muyo! series * Sabato Morais (1823 1897), Italian American Jewish rabbi * Instituto SabatoPeople with the surname Sabato:*… …   Wikipedia

  • Morais — or Moraes (archaic spelling) is a Portuguese language surname. It may refer to: Abrahão de Moraes, Brazilian astronomer. Adriano Moraes, Brazilian rodeo performer Antônio Ermírio de Moraes, Brazilian businessman Marcos Evangelista de Moraes,… …   Wikipedia

  • Henry Samuel Morais — (May 13, 1860–1924) was a Jewish American writer and rabbi born in Philadelphia, Pa and educated at private and public schools of that city. He received his religious instruction from his father, Sabato Morais. For about twelve years he was a… …   Wikipedia

  • History of the Jews in Philadelphia — The Jews of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania can trace their history back to Colonial America. Jews have lived there since the arrival of William Penn in 1682.Early historyJewish traders were operating in southeastern Pennsylvania long before Penn. The …   Wikipedia

  • Jewish Theological Seminary of America — Building at 3080 Broadway in Manhattan Motto והסנה איננו אכל Motto in English And …   Wikipedia

  • Congregation Mikveh Israel — A former home of the Mikveh Israel Synagogue, Philadelphia Congregation Mikveh Israel, Mikveh Israel synagogue, officially called Kahal Kadosh Mikveh Israel (Hebrew: קהל קדוש מקוה ישראל‎, which translates as Holy Community of the Hope of Israel)… …   Wikipedia

  • Conservative Judaism — (also known as Masorti Judaism outside of the United States and Canada) is a modern stream of Judaism that arose out of intellectual currents in Germany in the mid 19th century and took institutional form in the United States in the early 1900s.… …   Wikipedia


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