Wise, Jonah Bondi

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WISE, JONAH BONDI (1881–1959), U.S. Reform rabbi. Son of Isaac Mayer *Wise, he was ordained by Hebrew Union College in 1903. In 1904 he was appointed to Mizpah Temple, Chattanooga, Tennessee, and in 1906 to Temple Israel, Portland, Oregon. While in Portland he established a weekly Jewish newspaper, The Scribe. In 1925 Wise moved to New York and there served as rabbi of the Central Synagogue until his death. Within his congregation he did not depart from the classical pattern of Reform Judaism; family connections and an aptitude for social life helped to establish his position. In 1934 he established the weekly radio program "Message of Israel." He was an active worker for the *American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, serving as national chairman 1931–38. He visited Europe several times on its behalf and represented it at the Evian Conference on Refugees, 1938. In the following year he became national chairman of the United Jewish Appeal, though he rejected Zionism.


S. Caumann, Jonah Bondi Wise (1966).

[Sefton D. Temkin]