Hurwitz, Henry

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HURWITZ, HENRY (1886–1961), U.S. editor and Jewish educator. Hurwitz, born in Lithuania, was taken to the U.S. at the age of five. While attending Harvard he organized in 1906 the Harvard Menorah Society, a Jewish campus group dedicated to the pursuit of Jewish intellectual, cultural, religious, and ethical values. In 1913 he founded the Intercollegiate *Menorah Association, of which he served for many years as president and later as chancellor. In 1915 Hurwitz founded the Menorah Journal, a magazine of Jewish opinion that ranked for many years among the foremost Jewish publications in the world. Although he edited the Journal as an open forum, Hurwitz himself was an accomplished pole-mist, a talent he exerted chiefly in his opposition to political Zionism, which grew more extreme after the establishment of the State of Israel. American Jewry, he believed, was a unique entity whose future depended on the reinterpretation of Jewish tradition in a specifically American vein. Toward the end of his life the idiosyncrasy of his views estranged many of his former supporters; the Journal appeared only irregularly and its pages reflected his spirit of disillusionment. Yet he retained to the end the loyalty of a number of eminent scholars and writers who recalled the encouragement that he gave them at the outset of their careers.


Hurwood, in: The Menorah Journal, 69 (1962).

[Hillel Halkin]