Enelow, H. G. (Hyman Gerson), 1877-1934

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Hyman Gerson Enelow was born in Kovno, Lithuania, October 26, 1877, the son of Leopold and Matilda Marver Enelow. In 1893 Enelow's father emigrated to the United States and settled in Chicago, where he operated a small tobacco manufacturing business. At first, Enelow planned to remain in Europe in order to attend the University of Heidelberg. These plans changed and Enelow followed his father to Chicago a short time later.

With the help of Rabbis Emil G. Hirsch and Joseph Stolz, both of whom were impressed by his mental abilities, Enelow was admitted to the University of Chicago. After attending the University of Chicago for two years, Enelow decided to attend Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati in order to study for the rabbinate. Enelow's superior academic skills, especially his knowledge of Hebrew, enabled him to be admitted to the Collegiate Department of the college in September, 1895. In 1897 he received a B.A. degree from the University of Cincinnati and, in 1898, was ordained by Isaac M. Wise.

After graduation, Enelow spent three years at Temple Israel in Paducah, Kentucky (1898-1901) and eleven years at Congregation Adath Israel of Louisville, Kentucky before going to serve as rabbi at Temple Emanu-El in New York City (1912-1934). While at Temple Emanu-El, Enelow found that his chief interest was in the education of his congregants. Besides taking an active role in the religious school, he expounded on the concept of education, both for adults as well as children. Enelow was also a member of the Commission on Jewish Education of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations and chairman of its Committee on Adult Education. Through these interests and his ability to instill his beliefs in others, Enelow was instrumental in founding the Littauer Chair in Jewish Literature and Philosophy at Harvard University and the Nathan J. Miller Chair in Jewish History, Literature, and Institutions at Columbia University.

Enelow was president of the Kentucky State Conference of Charities and Correction and of the Conference of Social Workers at Louisville in 1910-1911. He was founder and member of the executive committee of the Federation of Jewish Charities, Louisville, from 1908-1911. During World War I, Enelow went to France as Overseas Commander and General Field Secretary of the Jewish Welfare Board. He was vice-president (1925-1927) and president (1927-1929) of the Central Conference of American Rabbis. He served on many committees of both the Central Conference of American Rabbis and the Union of American Hebrew Congregations. He was a member of the American Historical Society and the American Jewish Historical Society.

Hyman G. Enelow was recognized early in his career as an exceptional scholar and writer. Among the many books he wrote are: The Jewish Life (1915); The Synagogue in Modern Life (1916); The Faith of Israel (1917); The Varied Beauty of the Psalms (1917); The Allied Countries and the Jews (1918); A Jewish View of Jesus (1920); The Adequacy of Judaism (1920); and The Jew and the World (1921). His Selected Works were published in four volumes by F. Levy in 1935. He edited Israel ben Joseph Al-Nakawa's four volume work, the Menorath Hamaor and Kaufmann Kohler's Origins of the Synagogue and the Church (1929).

On January 30, 1934, Enelow, who was scheduled to retire and become rabbi emeritus of Temple Emanu-El on February 1, sailed for the Mediterranean aboard the ship Empress of Australia . While on board he had a heart attack and died February 6. Hyman G. Enelow, who never married, was buried in Chicago's Rosehill Cemetery on February 22, 1934.

From the guide to the Hyman G. Enelow Papers., 1897-1933., (The Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Wise, Jonah Bondi, 1881-1959. Papers, 1919-1923. American Jewish Archives
referencedIn Warburg, Felix M. (Felix Moritz), 1871-1937. Papers, 1895-1937. American Jewish Archives
referencedIn Marx, Alexander, 1878-1953. Papers, 1880-1958. Campbell University, Wiggins Memorial Library
creatorOf Hyman G. Enelow Papers., 1897-1933. The Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives
referencedIn Egelson, Louis I. (Louis Isaac), 1885-1957. Papers, 1918-1954 (bulk 1918-1919). American Jewish Archives
referencedIn Ribalow, Menachem, 1895-1953. Papers, 1917-1951. Campbell University, Wiggins Memorial Library
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Place Name Admin Code Country
Subject
Reform Judaism--Kentucky
Jews--New York (N.Y.)
Jews--Kentucky--Louisville
Reform Judaism--New York (N.Y.)
Jews--Kentucky--Paducah
Occupation
Rabbis--Kentucky
Rabbis--New York (N.Y.)
Function

Person

Birth 1877

Death 1934

Information

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