Waskow, Arthur Ocean, 1933-....

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Arthur Ocean Waskow, rabbi, political activist, and teacher was born on October 12, 1933 in Baltimore, Maryland.

He received a B.A. from Johns Hopkins University in 1954 and an M.A. (1956) and PhD. (1963) in US history from the University of Wisconsin in Madison.

From 1959 to 1961, he worked as assistant to Robert Katenmeier, a Congressman from Wisconsin.

Together with Richard Barnet and Marcus Raskin, Arthur Waskow helped found the Institute for Policy Studies in 1963. For the next 14 years, he served as Resident Fellow.

From 1963 to the end of the Vietnam War in 1975 Arthur Waskow was a very active opponent to the war.

Beginning in 1963 Arthur Waskow was arrested a number of times for sit-ins and protests against racial discrimination, South African Apartheid, the Vietnam War, among others.

Since 1969, Arthur Waskow has been involved with the Jewish Renewal Movement; movement with the goal of reviving and adapting the old tradition to modern day needs. In the same year he wrote a new version of Haggadah that he used for the first Freedom Seder in 1969.

In 1982, Arthur Waskow founded the Shalom Center, a progressive and liberal organization focusing on ecology reflected through the mirror of Judaism, civil rights movement, interfaith relations, Middle East Peace process, lesbian and gay rights, and the rights of immigrants.

Between 1982 and 1989, Arthur Waskow was a faculty member at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, and taught courses on modern day theology and practical rabbinics. He also taught at other educational institutions, such as Vassar College, Temple University, Swarthmore College, and Drew University.

In 1993 Arthur Waskow co-founded the ALEPH: Alliance for Jewish Renewal. Since then ALEPH has become one of the most influential and respected organizations in the Jewish Renewal Movement.

Moreover, Arthur Waskow is a prolific writer, who has written numerous articles and essays as well as larger scale works, most notably Godwrestling (1978), Seasons of Our Joy (1982), Down-to-Earth Judaism: Food, Money, Sex, and the Rest of Life (1995), and Godwrestling - Round 2: Ancient Wisdom, Future Paths (1996).

From the guide to the Arthur Waskow Papers, 1948-2009, bulk 1967-2004, (American Jewish Historical Society)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Fellowship of Reconciliation (U.S.). Records, 1915-[ongoing]. Swarthmore College, Peace Collection, SCPC
referencedIn Lankford, John E., 1934- . Papers, 1942-1968. Wisconsin Historical Society, Newspaper Project
referencedIn Booth, Paul. Papers, 1956-1970. Wisconsin Historical Society, Newspaper Project
creatorOf McReynolds, David. David McReynolds papers, 1943-1978. Swarthmore College, Peace Collection, SCPC
creatorOf Waskow, Arthur Ocean, 1933-. Arthur Ocean Waskow papers, 1943-1977 (bulk 1961-1977). Wisconsin Historical Society, Newspaper Project
creatorOf Arthur Waskow Papers, 1948-2009, bulk 1967-2004 American Jewish Historical Society
referencedIn Goldie Milgram, papers, undated, 1900-2009 (bulk 1980-2005) American Jewish Historical Society
referencedIn Phyllis Chesler Papers, 1968-1990 David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
Role Title Holding Repository
Direct Relationships
Relation Name
associatedWith ALEPH (Philadelphia, Pa.) corporateBody
associatedWith Berman, Phyllis Ocean, 1942- person
associatedWith Booth, Paul. person
associatedWith Chesler, Phyllis person
associatedWith Fabrangen (Washington, D.C.) corporateBody
associatedWith Fellowship of Reconciliation (U.S.) corporateBody
associatedWith Institute for Policy Studies. corporateBody
associatedWith Lankford, John E., 1934- . person
associatedWith McReynolds, David. person
associatedWith Milgram, Goldie, 1955- person
associatedWith National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. corporateBody
associatedWith National Conference for New Politics. corporateBody
associatedWith Students for a Democratic Society (U.S.) corporateBody
associatedWith The Shalom Center corporateBody
Place Name Admin Code Country
United States
United States
Philadelphia (Pa.)
Anti-nuclear movement
Vietnam War, 1961-1975--Protest movements
Civil rights
Human rights
Freedom Seder
Civil defense
African Americans--Civil rights
Arab--Israeli conflict
Jewish--Arab relations
Race riots
Passover Prayers and devotions
Jewish renewal


Birth 1933-12-10




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