Goldman, Solomon

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GOLDMAN, SOLOMON (1893–1953), U.S. Conservative rabbi. Goldman, who was born in Volhynia, Russia, was taken to the U.S. in 1902. He studied at the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Yeshivah and at the Jewish Theological Seminary where he was ordained (1918) and later received his dhl (1936). After serving in Brooklyn, he moved to the Cleveland Bnai Jeshurun Congregation, which he could not convince to become a synagogue center so he moved to the Cleveland Jewish Center, which had been refashioned as a synagogue center with excellent sports facilities and auditorium. He was a wonderful orator and an innovative organizer who worked to establish a large school and a serious adult education program. He moved the synagogue from its Orthodox origins toward the Conservative tradition, meeting with serious opposition and a legal suit in which the change was upheld by the court. But after seven years, he left to go to Chicago where he became rabbi of the Anshe Emet Synagogue of Chicago (1929) and held that position until his death. He became widely known as an orator, communal leader, and scholar who popularized the cause of Zionism. Among the positions of leadership he held were the presidency of the Histadrut Ivrit (1936–38), presidency of the Zionist Organization of America (1938–40), and cochairmanship of the United Jewish Appeal. He was a founder of National Hillel and served on the board of the Jewish Theological Seminary. Goldman edited a series of texts in modern Hebrew literature and wrote Romance of a People, a pageant performed at the Chicago World's Fair in 1933. Among his books are A Rabbi Takes Stock (1931), The Jew and the Universe (1936), Crisis and Decision (1938), and Undefeated (1940), all dealing with the Jewish people in modern times. In his last years he began the publication of a study of the Bible and its influence on world literature, of which three volumes were completed: The Book of Books (1948), In the Beginning (1949), and From Slavery to Freedom (1958).


L.P. Gartner, History of Jews of Cleveland (1978); S. Vincent and J. Rubinstein, Merging Traditions: Jewish Life in Cleveland (1978); J.L. Weinstein, Solomon Goldman: A Rabbi's Rabbi (1973); P.M. Nadell, Conservative Judaism in America: A Biographical Dictionary and Sourcebook (1988).

[Jack Reimer /

Michael Berenbaum (2nd ed.)]