TABLE OF CONTENTS
Manuscript Collection No. 81
Samuel Harry Goldenson was born in Kalvaria, Poland on March 26, 1878. He was brought to the United States by his parents in 1890. He married Claudia V. Myar and had three children - Evelyn Beatrice (Mrs. Naaman Glick), Robert Myar, and William Lee. He received the rabbinical degree from the Hebrew Union College and his A.B. degree from the University of Cincinnati, both in 1904; he later received from Columbia University the degrees of A.M. (1914) and Ph.D. (1917). In 1925 the Hebrew Union College bestowed on him the honorary degree of D.H.L. for "deepening the philosophic content of Judaism."
Goldenson was rabbi of Congregation Adath Israel, Lexington, Kentucky (1904-06), and of Congregation Beth Emeth, Albany, New York (1906-18). In 1918 Goldenson moved to Temple Rodef Shalom, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where he established a national reputation. In 1934 he was appointed senior rabbi of Temple Emanu-El, New York City, also serving as president of the Central Conference of American Rabbis (1933-35). Becoming rabbi emeritus in 1947, he devoted the last years of his career to preaching in small communities under the auspices of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations.
While in Albany and Pittsburgh, Goldenson was active in many campaigns for civic reform and social justice. His preachings from the pulpit reflect the moral and universalistic outlook of the prophets of Israel and stress the ideals of personal goodness as a preliminary step toward the solution of the larger problems of human society. Throughout his ministry he consistently upheld the democratic implications of Judaism within and without the congregation. He showed little sympathy with Jewish nationalism and the revived interest in synagogal ceremony. Shortly after coming to Pittsburgh, he introduced the unassigned seating system in his congregation, and ultimately received support of influential members who originally opposed his plan. His colleagues in the Jewish ministry regarded him as a "rabbi's rabbi." Many of his important sermons have been published.
Samuel H. Goldenson died on August 31, 1962.
The Samuel H. Goldenson Papers consist of sermons, addresses and other writings. This collection is contained within a single series. This series contains Goldenson's sermons, 1909-1948, arranged in chronological order. There are also scrapbooks containing newspaper clippings about Goldenson as well as correspondence to and from Goldenson. This collection also contains one folder each of sermon outlines, monographs, radio addresses, lecture notes, prayers, eulogies, invocations and miscellaneous addresses.
The appendix and the first page in box 3 folder 3 give an alphabetical list of the contents of each folder. There is also a CD available with scans of some material and photographs of and relating to Goldenson.
This collection is arranged in a single series.
Terms of Access
The collection is open for use; no restrictions apply.
Terms of Reproduction and Use
Copyright restrictions may apply. Authorization to publish, quote, or reproduce, with exceptions for fair use, may be obtained through the American Jewish Archives, Cincinnati, Ohio. Please address queries to the Executive Director of the American Jewish Archives. For more information, see the American Jewish Archives copyright information webpage.
Footnotes and bibliographic references should refer to the Samuel H. Goldenson Papers and the American Jewish Archives. A suggestion for at least the first citation is as follows:
[Description], [Date], Box #, Folder #. MS-81. Samuel H. Goldenson Papers. American Jewish Archives, Cincinnati, Ohio.
The Samuel H. Goldenson Papers were donated in March 1976 by HUC-JIR, New York and by Daniel Goldenson, Princeton, N.J., January 2003.
Processed by Christine A. Crandall, March 2003
An alphabetical listing of sermons and other addresses in the papers is available in an appendix .
The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the AJA's online catalog.
Persons and Families
Goldenson, Samuel Harry -- 1878-1962
Jews -- New York (N.Y.)
Reform Judaism -- New York (N.Y.)
Genres and Forms
Jewish sermons, American
Rabbis -- New York (N.Y.)