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Malev, William S.


MALEV, WILLIAM S. (1898–1973), U.S. Conservative rabbi. Malev was born in Homel, Russia, and immigrated to the United States in 1908. He received his B.A. from the City College of New York in 1919; as a student at the Teachers Institute, and president of the Jewish Teachers Association (1921–22), he was persuaded by Mordecai *Kaplan to enter the rabbinate and was ordained at the *Jewish Theological Seminary in 1925. Over the next 20 years, Malev developed three thriving synagogue centers in the New York metropolitan area: the Concourse Center of Israel (Bronx, 1925–27); Kingsbridge Heights Jewish Center (Bronx, 1927–28); and the Jamaica Jewish Center (Jamaica, 1928–46). In 1946, he moved to Houston, Texas, where he built Congregation Beth Yeshurun into the state's leading Conservative synagogue and was instrumental in establishing the first day school in the Southwest United States. He was president of the Texas Kallah of Rabbis and a force on behalf of Zionism as the foremost regional orator for the *Zionist Organization of America. As president of the Houston Ministerial Association, and a weekly columnist for the Houston Post, Malev was a principal civic leader in interfaith and interracial affairs. He also lectured at the University of Houston. Primarily a shaper of Conservative Judaism in the Southwest, his major role in the framework of the national movement was as chairman of the *Rabbinical Assembly's Committee on College Youth (1945–46), established to build bridges between ra members and the next generation of American Jewish leaders.


P.S. Nadell, Conservative Judaism in America: A Biographical Dictionary and Sourcebook (1988).

[Bezalel Gordon (2nd ed.)]

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