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Feuerlicht, Morris Marcus


FEUERLICHT, MORRIS MARCUS (1879–1959), U.S. Reform rabbi. Feuerlicht was born in Hungary and ordained at *Hebrew Union College in 1901. He spent his entire rabbinic career in Indiana, first as rabbi of Temple Israel in Lafayette (1901–4) and then of Indianapolis Hebrew Congregation in Indianapolis (1904–51), where he also was a member of the faculty of Butler University. Feuerlicht espoused the philosophy that Judaism's spiritual heritage could contribute much to American life and translated this into respected social activism, to the extent that The Indianapolis Times hailed him as "a man in whom the qualities of greatness transcend all the little differences of creed, nationality and sect that divide us." The paper went on to call Feuerlicht "…one of the true assets of the State of Indiana… [a] violent foe of the Ku Klux Klan… [an] orator who bested the famed attorney Clarence Darrow in a [public] debate… [and an effective mediator] who settled many strikes."

In 1927, Feuerlicht was one of the founders of the National Conference of Christians and Jews (renamed the National Conference for Community and Justice in the 1990s). Locally, he was one of the founders of the Marion County chapter of the American Red Cross, as well as the founder and first director of the Indianapolis Family Welfare Society. He served successive terms as president of a number of civic organizations, including the Indiana Conference of Social Work, the Children's Aid Association of Indianapolis, and the Indiana Library and Historical Board. He also served as a civilian chaplain at Fort Benjamin Harrison.

In the realm of scholarship, Feuerlicht, a member of the American Oriental Society, was a contributor to the Universal Jewish Encyclopedia and wrote Judaism's Contribution to the Founding of the Republic, published by the Jewish Tract Commission.


K.M. Olitzky, L.J. Sussman, and M.H. Stern, Reform Judaism in America: A Biographical Dictionary and Sourcebook (1993).

[Bezalel Gordon (2nd ed.)]

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