Moses, Isaac S.

views updated


MOSES, ISAAC S. (1847–1926), U.S. Reform rabbi. Moses, who was born in Zaniemysl, Poznan, had not completed his education before he settled in the United States in the early 1870s. He was appointed to rabbinic positions in Quincy, Illinois (1876), Milwaukee (1879), and Chicago (1888). In 1901 he became rabbi of the Central Synagogue, New York, where he remained until his retirement in 1919.

In his early days in the United States, Moses was considered a radical Reformer, but later he took a more moderate position. In 1884 he introduced his own prayer book (Tefillat Yisrael). Moses was a founding member of the Central Conference of American Rabbis and a member of the Reform committee charged with compiling an official prayer book. The appearance of the Union Prayer Book in 1894 has been credited to his personal initiative in preparing and circulating a manuscript when the committee's work seemed to be leading nowhere. Moses also published a number of sermons and textbooks for children. His Sabbath School Hymnal, first issued in 1894, ran into 14 editions. While in Milwaukee, he edited the weekly Der Zeitgeist (1880–82).


ccary, 37 (1927), 250; L.J. Swichkow and L.P. Gartner, The History of the Jews in Milwaukee (1963), passim.

[Sefton D. Temkin]