views updated


STROOCK , U.S. family of lawyers, philanthropists, and businessmen. marcus stroock immigrated to the U.S. from Germany in the mid-19th century and founded a large woolen mill in Newburgh, New York. His eldest son, LOUIS S. (1855–1925), was active in S. Stroock & Co. for 50 years, and eventually became its president. He was president of the Board of Trustees of Congregation Bnai Jeshurun and a treasurer and trustee of Beth Israel Hospital. Stroock was a generous philanthropist, and a year before his death he gave 20 scholarships to graduates of preparatory schools who would not otherwise have been able to afford college. His brother mark (1863–1926) was a director and officer of S. Stroock & Co. moses J. (1866–1931), another brother, was a lawyer. Stroock was admitted to the bar in 1888 and practiced law at first with Platzek and Stroock and later with his brother, Solomon Marcuse (see below), in Stroock & Stroock. He was especially involved in the area of higher education, as a trustee of City College in 1911 and chairman of the board of trustees in 1925, and as chairman of New York City's board of higher education from its establishment in 1926. Stroock was active in Jewish organizations, especially the Federation for the Support of Jewish Philanthropic Societies.

Another brother, JOSEPH (1869–1946), was president and chief executive officer of S. Stroock & Co. He was a close friend of Stephen S. *Wise and helped him financially in setting up the Free Synagogue and the institution which ultimately became the Jewish Institute of Religion, later a part of Hebrew Union College. His second wife, regina (1875–1948), was chairman of the women's division of the United New York Appeal for the Joint Distribution Committee. She was on the board of the Hebrew Orphan Asylum and of the Jewish Child Care Association. Mayor La Guardia appointed her to the board of the Children's Center of New York. Regina Stroock founded the Girls Home Club, a residence organization for working girls.

solomon marcuse (1874–1945), another brother, was a lawyer. By 1907 he and his brother Moses were practicing law together. He specialized in constitutional law and appeared before the New York State Supreme Court. He was chairman of a number of legal committees, including the legal education committee (from 1933) of the Bar Association of the City of New York. Stroock served as president (1924–26) of the ymha of New York and from 1925 to 1930 headed the Metropolitan League of Jewish Community Centers while acting as president of the Federation for the Jewish Philanthropic Societies in New York City. In 1934 he was made chairman of the executive committee of the American Jewish Committee and in the year of his death became president of that organization. He was among the founders of the Jewish Agency for Palestine and a member of the non-Zionist section of that organization. His wife, hilda (1876–1945), born in New York City, sponsored a cardiac clinic for children at Montefiore Hospital, of which she was a trustee, and was vice chairman of the City Work and Relief Administration and a member of the board of directors of the State Conference on Social Work. Actively involved in the Federation for the Support of Jewish Philanthropic Societies, she sponsored the first women's conference on Jewish affairs in 1938.

Solomon and Hilda Stroock's son allan (1907–1985) became a lawyer. From 1934 to 1936 he was a law clerk for Supreme Court Justice Benjamin *Cardozo. Following that he joined Stroock & Stroock, first as an associate (1936) and later as a partner (1939), until 1942, when be became a member of Stroock & Stroock & Lavan. While remaining active in legal organizations, Stroock, like his father, supported the Jewish Theological Seminary of America – becoming chairman of the board in 1947 and president of the corporation of the Seminary in 1963; the Federation of Jewish Philanthropies; and the American Jewish Committee. In 1960 he was made trustee at large of the Federation. He served as vice president of the American Jewish Committee from 1948 to 1951 and from 1955 to 1958; in 1958 he became chairman of its administrative committee. He was also a trustee of New York University.

The Alan and Katherine Stroock Fund supports many projects in education and the arts.