Arzt, Max

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ARZT, MAX (1897–1975), U.S. Conservative rabbi. Arzt was born in Stanislav, Poland, and was brought to the U.S. at the age of four. He was ordained at the Jewish Theological Seminary (1921). During his college years, Arzt developed an interest in Zionism. After serving in Stamford, Conn. (1921–24), Arzt accepted the pulpit of Temple Israel in Scranton, Pa., where he remained for 15 years. The congregation became known as a laboratory for synagogue endeavor in many educational areas. In 1939 he became director of Field Service and Activities of the Jewish Theological Seminary and was a pioneer in educating laymen to support institutions of higher Jewish learning. He was named vice chancellor of the Seminary in 1951 and professor of practical theology in 1962. He wrote Justice and Mercy, a Commentary on the New Year and the Day of Atonement (1963) and various talmudic studies. Arzt was a member of the editorial committee of the Jewish Publication Society of America as well as of its translation committee preparing a new translation of the Bible. Other posts he held included president of the Rabbinical Assembly, and vice president of the Synagogue Council of America. Joy and Remembrance: Commentary on the Sabbath Eve Liturgy was published posthumously in 1979.

[Alvin Kass]