ALLEN, ISAAC (1875–1973), U.S. Zionist pioneer and talmudic scholar. Born in Russia, Allen immigrated to the United States in 1891. He graduated from the Law School of New York University in 1901, and while still a student won the right for Jews not to be required to take examinations on the Sabbath. A devoted Zionist, as early as 1897 Allen helped establish the Federation of American Zionists and the New York Zionist Council, of which he became president in 1898, and was a founder of the Mizrachi Organization of America in 1912. He was also a founder of the American Jewish Committee and the American Jewish Congress. He was a delegate to the Ninth Zionist Congress in Hamburg in 1909 and to many subsequent ones. He wrote regularly in the Yiddish press on American law, history, civics, customs, and policies for the benefit of new immigrants and also lectured publicly on these subjects. For 20 years, until failing health and eyesight forced him to retire at the age of 93, Allen conducted classes in Talmud at no fewer than four synagogues in New York.

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

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