Adams, Theodore L.

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ADAMS, THEODORE L. (1915–1984), U.S. rabbi. Adams was the epitome of the emerging modern Orthodox rabbis in America during much of the 20th century. Born in Bangor, Maine, he was the son of the town shoḥet. His pious immigrant parents sent their son to New York for a proper Jewish education. After studying at Yeshiva Torah Vodaath, he went to Yeshiva College (B.A., 1936) and continued for semikhah at Yeshiva's Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary (1938). He occupied pulpits in Congregation Mt. Sinai in Jersey City and Congregation Ohab Zedek in Manhattan. In these he transformed the congregations from their old-style European immigrant milieu into modern Orthodoxy.

With a commanding presence dressed in self-confidence, he attracted the attention of many Jewish causes. His rabbinic colleagues elected him to the presidencies of the *Rabbinical Council of America and the interdenominational *Synagogue Council of America. In his later years, he earned a Ph.D. in Jewish education and joined the staff of *Touro College.

[Jeanette Friedman (2nd ed.)]