Baumol, Joshua

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BAUMOL, JOSHUA (1880–1948), rabbi. Son of Nahum, the communal rabbi of Krachinka, who was his primary teacher, Baumol received rabbinical ordination from Rabbi Samuel Engel of Radomysl and Rabbi Benjamin Weiss of Chernovtsy, author of the Even Yikarah. Baumol taught Talmud in Vishnitz in the Bet Israel yeshivah from 1908 to 1911. He fled to Bohemia during World War i and became a pulpit rabbi in Brno at Congregation Maḥzekei ha-Dor.

Baumol arrived in the United States in 1920 and became the pulpit rabbi at Kehillath Adath Jeshurun in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, n.y. As a member of the Agudat ha-Rabbonim, he became vice president of its Kashruth Committee. He was best known for handling issues confronting American Orthodox Jewry with tact and diplomacy. He was one of the founders and the first president of the *Agudat Israel of America, an umbrella group for Orthodox organizations and an advocacy organization. He was deeply involved in policymaking and administration of the Agudah and remained involved with the group until his death.

Baumol's peers respected him as a halakhic authority and often asked him for his opinions on contemporary matters. Among many things, he was asked about post-mortems, lie detector tests, and questions concerning survivors of the Holocaust. His two-volume set of responsa, Emek Halakhah, was published in 1934. In 1976, a revised edition, with addenda, was issued.


B.-Z. Eisenstadt, Dorot ha-Aḥaronim (1937), 22; S. Elberg, Sefer ha-Yovel ha-Pardes (1951), 467–68; A. Rand (ed.), Toeldot Anshei Shem (1950), 8; M. Sherman, Orthodox Judaism inAmerica: A Biographical Dictionary and Sourcebook, (1996), 26–27; Morgen Journal (Sept. 9, 1948), 9; New York Times (Sept. 9, 1948), 27.

[Jeanette Friedman (2nd ed.)]