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Eichler, Menahem Max

EICHLER, MENAHEM MAX

EICHLER, MENAHEM MAX (1870–1927), U.S. Conservative rabbi. Eichler was born in Hungary and immigrated to the United States in 1892. In 1899, he earned a B.A. degree from the City College of New York and was ordained at the Jewish Theological Seminary. Eichler became rabbi of Congregation Beth Israel (1899–1905) in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where in 1901 graduates of the *Jewish Theological Seminary met in his home to discuss the impending financial collapse of the Seminary. Their plan of action led to the formation of the Alumni Association of the Jewish Theological Seminary, which quickly evolved into the *Rabbinical Assembly. Eichler was elected the second president of the Rabbinical Assembly (1904–7) and served on the financial committee that planned the Seminary's million dollar campaign. From 1905 to 1916, he was rabbi of Congregation Ohabei Shalom in Boston, where he also attended law school at Boston University. After receiving his LL.B. degree in 1914 and being admitted to the Bar in 1916, Eichler began the practice of law and devoted much of his time to Jewish communal causes. He founded the Central Jewish Organization of Boston – which he also served as president – and was director of the Federated Jewish Charities of Boston, as well as the Zionist Bureau of New England. Eichler returned to the rabbinate in 1920, moving to Temple Beth El in Buffalo, New York, where he remained until his death. He wrote two books: What Makes Life Worth Living (1904) and Jewish Home Prayers (1913).

bibliography:

P.S. Nadell, Conservative Judaism in America: A Biographical Dictionary and Sourcebook (1988).

[Bezalel Gordon (2nd ed.)]

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