Wilhelm, Kurt

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WILHELM, KURT (1900–1965), rabbi. Born in Germany, he studied at German universities, at the Jewish Theological Seminary in Breslau, and in New York. Wilhelm officiated as rabbi in Germany from 1925 until 1933 when he immigrated to Palestine. In 1936 he founded the Liberal congregation Emet ve-Emunah in Jerusalem where he served as rabbi until 1948, when he went to Stockholm to officiate as chief rabbi of Sweden. He also lectured at Stockholm University on Jewish subjects. Wilhelm advocated a positive and moderate liberalism, similar to Conservative Judaism. He belonged to the circle which supported Arab-Jewish understanding, and was active in promoting Jewish dialogue with Christianity and other religions. He published a number of scholarly collections: Juedischer Glaube (1961) on Judaism and Wissenschaft des Judentums (1967) on German Jewish scholarship, among others.


Weltsch, in: ajr Information (July 1965); ylbi, 11 (1966), 356, no. 5186; H. Tramer, in: Theokratia, 1 (1967–69), 160–85; H. Bergman, in: K. Wilhelm (ed.), Wissenschaft des Judentums im deutschen Sprachbereich, 1 (1967), v–ix.

[Hugo Mauritz Valentin]