Heschel, Abraham Joshua, 1907-1972

Alternative names
Birth 1907-01-11
Death 1972-12-23
English, Yiddish, Hebrew, German

Biographical notes:

Abraham Joshua Heschel (1907-1972) was Polish-born American rabbi and one of the leading Jewish theologians and philosophers of the 20th century. Heschel taught at Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati and at the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York. He was also a highly visible public figure as a lecturer and activist for civil rights and the anti-war movement protesting U.S. involvement in Vietnam. He fam ously marched side by side with Martin Luther King, Jr. at Selma, and was a key figure in convincing King to embrace the antiwar movement. Heschel was also a co-founder of Clergy Concerned About Vietnam (later Clergy and Laity Concerned), which grew into a major vehicle for organized protest. Heschel served as a Jewish liaison with the Vatican during the Second Vatican Council, playing a crucial role in persuading the Vatican to eliminate anti-Jewish references from its liturgy. A close friend and associate of the Christian theologian Reinhold Niebuhr, Heschel was also an important conduit for dialogue between Jewish and Christian communities in the U.S. His theological works have exerted an enduring influence on observant Jews and on Jewish education, as well as on religious education generally, in the United States and throughout the world. Many of his important works have remained continually in print for decades.

From the guide to the Abraham Joshua Heschel papers, (David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University)


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  • Civil right activists
  • Theologians
  • Jewish philosophers


  • Professor
  • Theologians
  • Authors
  • Rabbis
  • Philosophers


  • Warsaw, 78, PL
  • New York City, NY, US