Huebsch, Adolph

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HUEBSCH, ADOLPH (1830–1884), rabbi and Orientalist. Huebsch was born in the Hungarian town of Lipto-Szentmiklos. Upon receiving his rabbinical diploma in 1854, he became rabbi of the small Orthodox congregation of Miawa. In 1857 he went to the University of Prague to study philosophy, receiving his doctoral degree in 1861, the same year that he accepted the rabbinate of the Neu-Synagogue in Prague. In 1866 Huebsch was invited to become head of Congregation Ahawath Chesed in New York, where he served for the remainder of his life. His interest in liturgy led him to introduce a moderate reformed ritual and to compose a new prayer book, later adopted by many other congregations. As a scholar, Huebsch's main work was his edition of the Syriac Peshitta on the Five Scrolls, Ḥamesh Megillot im Targum Suri (1866), translated as Fuenf Megilloth nebst dem Syrischen Thargum (1866). He also published a collection of his sermons, Dein Licht und deine Wahrheit (1868), and a book of Arabic aphorisms, Gems of the Orient (1887).

His son, ben w. huebsch (1875?–1964), U.S. publisher and editor, began his career as a printer and went on to build his own publishing house, B.W. Huebsch Co., which merged in 1925 with Viking Press, of which he became vice president and editor in chief. An ardent anti-militarist, Huebsch was executive of the American Neutral Conference during World War I and published a radical weekly, The Freeman, during 1920–24. He was an original national committee member of the American Civil Liberties Union upon its foundation in 1920 and served as its national treasurer for many years. In later years he was appointed United States representative to the United Nations Economic, Social and Cultural Organization (unesco).


I.M. Wise, in: J. Huebsch (ed.), Rev. Dr. Adolph Huebsch (1885), i–xiii.