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Lown, Philip W.


LOWN, PHILIP W. (1890–1978), U.S. shoe manufacturer and philanthropist. Lown arrived in New York in 1907, later attending the University of Maine and obtaining a degree in chemical engineering (1918). Lown went into shoe manufacturing, eventually heading Lown Shoes Inc. (from 1933) and Penobscot Shoe Co. Settling in Lewiston, Maine, in 1935, he became active in civic and Jewish communal affairs, especially educational. Lown served as a longtime board member, vice president, and president of the American Association for Jewish Education from 1950 on, and was one of the leading philanthropists of Jewish education in the United States. He endowed a chair in Jewish philosophy at Brandeis University and founded the Lown School of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies. He was president of the Hebrew Teachers' College of Brookline, Massachusetts, from 1962 and vice president of the American Friends of the Hebrew University. He served as a national cabinet member of the uja from 1950 and was treasurer of the Combined Jewish Philanthropies of Boston. A jubilee volume edited by Judah Pilch was published in his honor in 1967.

The Philip W. Lown School of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies, established at Brandeis University in 1953, is the center for teaching and research programs in the areas of Judaic studies, ancient Near Eastern studies, Islamic and modern Middle Eastern studies, and Jewish communal studies. The Hebrew College of Brookline has established the Philip W. Lown Medal for Distinguished Service to Jewish education and culture in the United States.

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