Harris, Maurice

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HARRIS, MAURICE (1859–1939), U.S. rabbi and communal worker. Born in London, he came to the United States at 10 and entered the business world. He studied at Columbia University earning his B.A. (1887), M.A. (1888), and Ph.D. (1889). He was ordained at Temple Emanu-El Theological Seminary, a short-lived affiliate of the famed New York Congregation (1884) and became the rabbi of Temple Israel in Harlem. His most important work was with the immigrant population. He was a founder of the Jewish Board of Guardians, the New York Society for the Prevention of Crime and a founder and president of the Federation Settlement and the Jewish Projectory, an organization designed to facilitate the successful absorption of the immigrants who flooded New York beginning in 1881. He was the author of several books, among them History of the Medieval Jews (1924), The People of the Book, 3 volumes (1929–1933), Modern Jewish History (1910, 1924, 1928), Modern Jewish History from the Renaissance to the World War (1922), The Story of the Jew (1919), The Story of the Jew in America (1921); and A Thousand Years of Jewish History (1927).


K.M. Olitzsky, L.J. Sussman and M.H. Stern Reform Judaism in America: A Biographical Dictionary and Source-book (1993).

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Harris, Maurice

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