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Goller, Izak

GOLLER, IZAK

GOLLER, IZAK (1891–1939), English author and rabbi. Born in Lithuania, Goller was taken to England as a child. He served congregations in Manchester, London, and finally the Hope Place Synagogue in Liverpool, where his advanced social views and outspoken addresses led to his dismissal in 1926. With characteristic defiance, Goller subsequently reestablished himself in the Young Israel (Zionist) Synagogue in Liverpool. His verse collection, The Passionate Jew and Cobbles of the God-Road (1923), violently denounced the atrocities committed against the Jews of Eastern Europe after World War i. It was followed by A Jew Speaks! (1926), a book of poetry and prose which, like many of Goller's subsequent publications, was illustrated with the author's original "cartoons." Goller's novel, The Five Books of Mr. Moses (1929), was dramatized as Cohen and Son (1937), a Jewish mystery play in "three acts, ten scenes, and a melody," and first performed in London in 1932. Other plays on Jewish themes were Judah and Tamar, Modin Women, and A Purim Night's Dream (all in 1931), and The Scroll of Lot's Wife (1937). A statement of his faith as a Jew was contained in First Chapter – A Summary of the History of My People from Abraham of Ur to Herzl of Budapest (1936).

bibliography:

Temkin, in: jc (June 30, 1939); G.E. Silverman, in: Liverpool Jewish Gazette (June 24, 1960); idem, in: Niv ha-Midrashiyyah (Spring 1970), 74–81, English section.

[Godfrey Edmond Silverman]

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