Dreyfus, Stanley A.
DREYFUS, STANLEY A.
DREYFUS, STANLEY A. (1921– ), U.S. Reform rabbi. Dreyfus was born in Youngstown, Ohio, and received his B.A. from the University of Cincinnati and his B.H.L. from Hebrew Union College in 1942. Ordination and his M.H.L. followed in 1946, when he also won the Heinsheimer Fellowship for graduate study at huc, where he began teaching liturgy and served as director of the Reference Department. Subsequently (1948–50), he became counselor to the Hebrew Union College's Interfaith Program, working with Christian clergymen who were studying Hebrew, Bible, and Jewish thought to teach in their own seminaries. In 1951, Dreyfus was awarded his Ph.D. from huc-jir, which later conferred on him an honorary D.D. (1971). While pursuing his graduate studies, Dreyfus served as rabbi of Congregation Beth-El in Beaver Falls, Penn. (1946–50), and West London Synagogue in London, England (summer 1949). He went on to pulpits at Congregation Beth Shalom, East Liverpool, Ohio (1950–51), and United Hebrew Congregation of Terre Haute, Ind. (1951–66), where he also served as chaplain of the U.S. penitentiary (1951–53). His term as rabbi in Terre Haute and visiting professor at the Indiana School of Religion in Bloomington was interrupted by active service as chaplain for the United States Army in Colorado and Germany (1953–55). Subsequently, as rabbi of Congregation B'nai Israel in Galveston, Texas (1956–65), Dreyfus was president of the Association of Texas Rabbis and chairman of Home Service for the Galveston Red Cross, in addition to serving on the Galveston County Biracial Committee and the Human Relations Committee. In 1965, Dreyfus was appointed rabbi of Union Temple in Brooklyn, n.y., where he remained until 1979, when he became emeritus and was named director of the Rabbinic Placement Commission of the Central Conference of American Rabbis, becoming emeritus in 1991.
From 1969 to 1973, Dreyfus was chairman of the Liturgy Committee of the *Central Conference of American Rabbis. He played an instrumental role in compiling Gates of Prayer: The New Union Prayerbook (the standard text for synagogue use on Sabbaths and Festivals); Gates of the House (for home prayer); and Gates of Repentance (for the High Holidays). In this role, he also oversaw and contributed to the publication of Gates of Understanding, a volume of lengthy introductions to the series of Reform Jewish prayerbooks. In addition, Dreyfus served on the ccar's Committee on Homosexuality and the Rabbinate – which ruled that homosexuality per se was not to be considered a disqualifying factor when it comes to candidacy for the rabbinate – and the Committee on Patrilinear Descent, which established that Jewish lineage may be passed on to children through the father alone, breaking from Orthodox and Conservative tradition that only the mother determines the religion of the offspring. Dreyfus was also a member of the ccar's Committee on Reform Jewish Classics, the Admissions Committee, the Responsa Committee, the Rabbinic Population Committee, and the Reform Jewish Practice Committee.
At different periods during his career, Dreyfus also served as president of the Association of Reform Rabbis of New York, of the Brooklyn Board of Rabbis, of the Association of Jewish Chaplains of the United States Armed Forces, and of the National Association of Retired Reform Rabbis. Additionally, he was a member of the Governing Body of the World Union for Progressive Judaism, the Board of Governors of the New York Board of Rabbis, and the Commission on Jewish Chaplaincy of the National Jewish Welfare Board as well as co-chairman of the Catholic-Jewish Relations Committee of Brooklyn and Queens. Dreyfus was an instructor in the Active Reserve on the faculty of the Army Chaplain School for 21 years, attaining the rank of lieutenant colonel.
[Bezalel Gordon (2nd ed.)]
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