Guide to the Emil Schorsch JTS Collection
(1899-1982) 1928-1979

AR 25446

Processed by Yakov Illich Sklar

Leo Baeck Institute

Center for Jewish History

15 West 16th Street

New York, N.Y. 10011

Phone: (212) 744-6400

Fax: (212) 988-1305

Email: http://www.lbi.org/ask

URL: http://www.lbi.org

© 2012 Leo Baeck Institute. All rights reserved.
Center for Jewish History, Publisher.
Electronic finding aid was encoded in EAD 2002 by Yakov Illich Sklar in 2012. Description is in English.
January 21, 2015  Links to digital objects added in Container List.

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Schorsch, Ismar
Title: Emil Schorsch JTS Collection
Dates:1928-1979
Abstract: The Emil Schorsch Collections documents professional activities of Emil Schorsch, a Rabbi and a communal leader, after his emigration from Germany in 1939. The collection includes brochures, booklets, clippings, correspondence, notes, immigration documents, printed materials, and writings.
Languages: The collection is in English with some German and Hebrew.
Quantity: 10 linear feet.
Identification: AR 25446
Repository: Leo Baeck Institute
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Biographical Note

Emil Schorsch was a rabbi in both Germany and, later, the United States. Throughout his rabbinical career he was a strong proponent of Conservative Judaism.

He was born in Hüngheim (Baden) in 1899. After attending a teachers' seminar in Esslingen he began his studies at the Jüdisch-Theologisches Seminar in Breslau in 1923. In 1926 he married Fanny Rothschild from Esslingen, in Württemberg. He graduated from the seminary in 1928. In 1927, a year before graduation, he accepted a position as Ortsrabbiner in Hanover, with the special responsibility of developing programming for Jewish youth. In 1931 he became president of the Zion-Loge Hanover, the local branch of the B'nai B'rith. He was also a member of the Allgemeiner Deutscher Rabbiner-Verband.

In the summer of 1933 Emil Schorsch was sent by the Jewish community to Palestine to learn how to prepare Jewish youth for immigration from Germany. Upon his return to Germany he began to train Jews for immigration to Palestine, in addition to fulfilling his rabbinical duties in Hanover.

Among Emil Schorsch's accomplishments in Hanover were the organization of religious youth educational programs, having Hebrew recognized as compulsory for receiving a high school diploma (Abitur), and the establishment of a Lehrhaus that existed for ten years. In addition, Emil Schorsch established a Jugendheim (youth center) for the community. He also worked at cultivating both the choir and the library of the congregation.

During Kristallnacht in November 1938 the synagogue was destroyed. Emil Schorsch was imprisoned in Buchenwald concentration camp for ten days along with other leading members of the Jewish community. He subsequently immigrated to England in December 1938, along with his wife, Fanny, and their two children, after receiving a permit from the Chief Rabbi of Great Britain, Rabbi Hertz. They moved to the United States in March 1940.

Emil Schorsch served as a rabbi in Pottstown, Pennsylvania from 1940 until 1964, as well as a military chaplain in the Pottstown area throughout the Second World War. In 1963, he returned to Germany and gave a speech at the opening of the new Hanover synagogue. He died in Vineland, New Jersey in 1982. His son, the historian Ismar Schorsch, served as the sixth Chancellor of the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York and as the President of the Leo Baeck Institute.

By Michael Simonson from the Emil Schorsch Collection 1841-1999 at the Leo Baeck Institute, New York

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Scope and Content Note

The Emil Schorsch Collections documents professional activities of Emil Schorsch, a Rabbi and a communal leader, after his emigration from Germany in 1939.

The collection includes brochures, booklets, clippings, correspondence, notes, immigration documents, printed materials, and writings.

At the heart of the collections lies a large number of Emil Schorsch’s sermons and other homilies.

Also included here are his articles and lectures that Emil Schorsch gave at the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York during the 1960s.

Being a rabbi, Emil Schorsch officiated many special events such as Bar and Bas Mitzvahs, weddings and memorials services. Copies of his speeches at these special events are collected here as well.

Other documents related to his rabbinical work include materials pertaining to congregation Mercy and Truth in Pottstown, Pennsylvania. These materials consists of rabbinical records such as confirmation, conversion, and divorce records, correspondence with members of the congregation, including those serving in the United States Army, professional correspondence, printed materials, and materials regarding history of the Jewish community of Pottstown.

In addition to materials pertaining to Emil Schorsch’s professional activities, there is a small amount of personal correspondence and immigration documents.

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Arrangement

The collection is divided into four series:

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Access and Use

Access Restrictions

Open to researchers.

Access Information

Collection is digitized. Follow the links in the Container List to access the digitized materials.

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Access Points

Click on a subject to search that term in the Center's catalog. Return to the Top of Page

Related Material

Emil Schorsch Collection 1841-1999

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Custodial History

Jewish Theological Seminary donated the collection in 2008

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Preferred Citation

Published citations should take the following form:

Identification of item, date (if known); Emil Schorsch JTS Collection; AR 25446; box number; folder number; Leo Baeck Institute.

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Container List

The following section contains a detailed listing of the materials in the collection.

Follow the links to access the digitized materials.

 

Series I: Correspondence, 1940-1977

This series is in German and English.
9 folders.
Arrangement:

Alphabetical with personal correspondence listed first.

Scope and Content:

Series I: Correspondence includes Emil Schorsch’s personal and professional correspondence.

Included here is correspondence with friends and family regarding immigration and World War II, correspondence with other congregations and religious institutions, and correspondence regarding Emil Schorsch’s efforts to publish his works.

BoxFolderTitleDate
11Family1957-1977
12Friends from England1940-1941
13Jewish Immigrants from Hannover1941
14Rothschild, Theodor and Wilhelmine1941
  

immigration

 
15Various1940-1977
16Beth Shalom Congregation1943
17Nathan, Marvin/Community Chaplaincy1943
18Publication efforts1953-1966
19Various1941, 1954
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Series II: Congregation Mercy and Truth, 1928-1963

This series is in German and English.
12 folders.
Arrangement:

Alphabetical

Scope and Content:

Series II: Congregation Mercy and Truth consists of materials documenting Emil Schorsch’s rabbinical work at that congregation.

Included here are Emil Schorsch’s rabbinical records such as confirmation, conversion, and divorce records, correspondence with members of the congregation, including those serving in the United States Army, professional correspondence, printed materials, and materials regarding history of the Jewish community of Pottstown.

BoxFolderTitleDate
111Confirmation Service1940-1944
112Conversion records1957-1963
117Correspondence1942-1944
  

members of the congregation serving in the army

 
118Correspondence1943-1944
  

members of the congregation

 
113Dedication of new synagogue1962
  

lists, notes, printed materials

 
BoxFolderTitleDate
109Dedication of new synagogue1962
  

printed materials

 
BoxFolderTitleDate
110Divorce (Get) materials1956
119Henkin, Hillel/Kesner Zion Hebrew School Center1943-1945
120History of the Jewish community of Pottstown1950
115Printed materials1928-1959
114Rabbi's report1963
  

Annual Congregational Meeting

 
116Recommendation letters for Jewish soldiers1941-1943
121Synagogue Charter1960
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Series III: Writings, 1939-1979

This series is in English with a few documents in German.
9.25 linear feet.
Arrangement:

Alphabetical by type of writings. Writing by authors other then Emil Schorsch are placed at the end of the series.

Scope and Content:

Series III: Writings is composed of Emil Schorsch’s writings and a few writings by other authors. Materials collected in the series document Emil Schorsch’s rabbinical work in the United States, most notably as head of the congregation Mercy and Truth in Pottstown, Pennsylvania and as a lecturer at the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York.

The bulk of the series consists of weekly sermons read before the members of the Mercy and Truth Congregation, other sermons, speeches and homilies by Emil Schorsch. There is a substantial number of sermons composed by Emil Schorsch to be read over the radio station VFGH (Valley Forge General Hospital).

Another large portion of the series consists of lectures that Emil Schorsch gave at the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York during the 1960s.

Being a Rabbi, Emil Schorsch officiated many special events such as Bar and Bas Mitzvahs, weddings and memorials services. Copies of his speeches at these special events are also collected here.

There is also a large number of articles and essays not directly associated with Emil Schorsch’ rabbinical work that were intended for publication.

Most of the writings in this series deal with a variety of theological problems and issues whereas a few writings deal with more current events and issues pertaining to modern times.

Additionally there is a small number of short stories and autobiographical writings.

BoxFolderTitleDate
122Bar Mitzvah1954-1956
123Bar Mitzvah, Bas Mitvah1958-1960
124Bar Mitzvah, Bas Mitvah1061-1964
125Bar Mitzvah, Bas Mitvah1964-1966
126Bar Mitzvah, Bas Mitvah1965-1973
127Bar Mitzvah, Bas Mitvah1976
  

Jonathan [Schorsch]

 
BoxFolderTitleDate
910Chanukah speech1964
  

The Pendulum of Jewish History

 
BoxFolderTitleDate
128Eulogies1947-1951
129Eulogies1955-1956
130Eulogies1957-1961
131Eulogies1962-1964
BoxFolderTitleDate
21Eulogies1964-1966
22Eulogies1965-1968
23Eulogies1974-1979
24Lectures[1960s]
25Lectures1963
  

The Nature of Man

 
26Lectures1964
27Lectures1965
  

Adon Olam

includes notes

 
28Lectures1966
  

Adult Approach to Bible

 
29Lectures1966
210Lectures1966
211Lectures1967-1968
212Lectures1968
  

The Wisdom Literature of the Bible

 
213Lectures1970
  

Prophets

 
214Lectures1971-1973
215Lectures1972
  

Midrash Approach

 
216Lectures1974
  

The Wisdom and Beauty of biblical Poetry

 
217Lectures1974
  

Philosophy of Judaism

notes and fragments

 
218Lectures1974-1977
219Lectures1975-1976
220Lectures1976
BoxFolderTitleDate
911Prayers1954-1959
BoxFolderTitleDate
76Radio Devotion1951-1953
  

Valley Forge General Hospital

 
77Radio Devotion1953-1954
  

Valley Forge General Hospital

 
78Radio Devotion1955-1957
  

Valley Forge General Hospital

 
79Radio Devotion1958-1962
  

Valley Forge General Hospital

 
BoxFolderTitleDate
221Sermons1939-1940
222Sermons1940
223Sermons and addresses1941
BoxFolderTitleDate
31Sermons and addresses1942
32Sermons1942
  

drafts and notes

 
33Sermons and addresses1943
34Sermons and addresses1946-1947
35Sermons1947-1950
36Sermons1947-1950
  

High Holidays

 
37Sermons1947-1951
38Sermons and addresses1947-1952
39Sermons1949-1950
310Sermons1949-1953
311Sermons1951-1953
BoxFolderTitleDate
41Sermons1952-1954
42Sermons and addresses1955
43Sermons and addresses1956
44Sermons and addresses1957-1959
45Sermons and addresses1957
46Sermons and addresses1958
47Sermons and addresses1959
48Sermons1959
  

High Holidays

 
49Sermons1959-1961
BoxFolderTitleDate
911Sermons and speeches1960s
BoxFolderTitleDate
51Sermons1960s
52Sermons1960
53Sermons1960
  

High Holidays

 
54Sermons1961
55Sermons1961
56Sermons1961
  

High Holidays

 
57Sermons1961-1962
58Sermons1962
  

High Holidays

 
59Sermons1963
  

High Holidays

 
510Sermons1963
511Sermons1963
512Sermons1963-1964
513Sermons1964-1965
BoxFolderTitleDate
61Sermons1964-1966
62Sermons1965-1970
63Sermons1968
64Sermons, speeches, addresses1973-1975
65Sermons1974-1978
66Speechesundated, 1964
67Speeches1953-1954
68Speeches1954-1955
69Speeches1954-1961
610Speeches1956-1958
611Speeches1958-1969
612Speeches1961
613Speeches1962-1963
BoxFolderTitleDate
71Speeches1964
72Speeches1965
73Speeches1966
74Speeches1966-1967
75Speeches1966-1970
BoxFolderTitleDate
912Weddings1940-1961
913Weddings1966
BoxFolderTitleDate
710Articles1940
  

Jewish Weekly, London

 
711Aspects of Jewish Theology1965
712The Attitude of Present Day Germany[1962]
713Autobiographical writings[1977]
714Between Heaven and Earth[1960s]
  

short story

 
715[Bible as a Jewish Religious Experience][19790s]
716[The Composition of the Bible][1960s]
717"Geistesgeschichte" of the Jewish Community of Hannover
BoxFolderTitleDate
81Holocaust[1960s]
82Language of God1959-1963
83Language of God[1965]
BoxFolderTitleDate
101The Law of Moral Gravitation1960s
BoxFolderTitleDate
84Lifeundated
85Notesundated, 1943-1954
86Notes1950-1965
87Notes[1970s]
88Notes1970s
89Notes, fragments1960s-1970s
810Notes1970s
811[On God and the Bible][1963]
812[On Jewish Piety]undated
BoxFolderTitleDate
919Opening of a new synagogue in Hannover/Germany of Today1963-1964
BoxFolderTitleDate
813Outlines1948-1962
814Outlines, notes[1950s]
815Outlines1951
816Outlines[1965]
817Outlines1970
BoxFolderTitleDate
102The Priciple of Sufficient Reason and Human Rights1969
  

includes printed materials

 
BoxFolderTitleDate
820The Rabbi's Potential Influence Upon The Development of the Moral-Religious Conscienceundated
819A Rabbi's Potential Influence Upon The Development of the Moral-Religious Conscience1963
  

paper for the Conference on the Moral Implications of the Rabbinate

 
821A Rabbi's Potential Influence Upon The Development of the Moral-Religious Conscience1963
  

paper for the Conference on the Moral Implications of the Rabbinate

 
822The Rebellion of Godearly 1970s
823Reviews[1960s]
BoxFolderTitleDate
103Soulless Piety?1974
BoxFolderTitleDate
824The Spiritual Background of the German Upheaval1946
825The Stereoscopical Principle as Method for the Expression of Divine Reality[1940s]
826The Stereoscopical Principle. An Important Medium of Expression of Religious Experience[1950s, 1970s]
827The Stereoscopical Principle[1960s]
BoxFolderTitleDate
91The Theological Problem of the Twentieth Century[1960s]
92Why Becoming a Rabbi?[1970s]
93Why Did The Bible Not Create a Systematic Theology?[1970s]
BoxFolderTitleDate
104Various1940s-1960s
BoxFolderTitleDate
94Various1944-1970
95Various[1950s]
96Various1950s-1960s
BoxFolderTitleDate
105Various1960s
106Various1960s
107Various1960s-1970s
BoxFolderTitleDate
97Various1965
98Various[1970s]
99On Being a Rabbi1964-1965
  

various authors

Herbert H. Lehman Institute of Ethics at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America

 
BoxFolderTitleDate
818Quotations by other authors[1940]
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Series IV: Various, 1937-1978

This series is in German and English.
0.25 linear feet.
Arrangement:

Alphabetical

Scope and Content:

Series IV: Various is composed of a variety of documents dealing with a wide spectrum of Emil Schorsch’s professional activities.

Included here are printed materials, a diary, materials from a number of conferences attended by Emil Schorsch, correspondence, and lists.

BoxFolderTitleDate
914Conference1942
  

To Discuss the Seminary Program for Strengthening the Jewish Faith and the Democratic Tradition

 
915Conference1942-1944
  

The National Conference of Christians and Jews

announcements, printed materials, lists

 
BoxFolderTitleDate
108Conference1973
  

A topology of German Jewry

 
BoxFolderTitleDate
916Diary, professional1942-1943
917Jewish Welfare Board1943-1944
  

announcements, printed materials, correspondence, lists

 
918Jewish Theological Seminary of America1937-1943
  

printed materials

 
920Printed materials1941-1967
BoxFolderTitleDate
1010Printed materials1963-1964
  

Schorsch, Emil

 
BoxFolderTitleDate
921Rabbinical Assembly of America/United Synagogue of America1943-1944
922Scrapbook1933-1950
923United China Relief1940s
  

printed materials

 
924Various1941-1978
925Youth programs1943-1944
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