Abraham H. Feinberg Papers
Access and Provenance

Biographical Sketch

Scope and Content Note

Box and Folder Listing

Subject Tracings


A Finding Aid to the

Abraham H. Feinberg Papers

Manuscript Collection No. 85

1926-1947 4.0 Linear ft.


The ABRAHAM H. FEINBERG PAPERS were donated to the American Jewish Archives by Mrs. Dorothy Feinberg, Mr. David Reich and Ms. Natalie Reich of Parkersburg, West Virginia in December, 1979. All property rights are assigned to the American Jewish Archives. All literary rights to materials authored by Rabbi Feinberg are held by the Feinberg heirs. Literary rights to materials authored by others are held by the individual author or his/her heirs. Questions concerning rights should be addressed to the Director of the American Jewish Archives.

The ABRAHAM H. FEINBERG PAPERS are open to all users. The original manuscript collection is available in the reading room of the American Jewish Archives.


Abraham H. Feinberg was born in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania, on August 6, 1907, to Max and Anna (Sansky) Feinberg. He was raised in an Orthodox Jewish family and as a child was taught the folklore and cultural heritage of his East European Jewish ancestors. In 1930 Feinberg graduated from the University of Cincinnati with an A.B. degree and having by this time joined with the Reform movement, followed with his graduation from Hebrew Union College and ordination as a Reform rabbi in 1932. Feinberg's rabbinical thesis was entitled, "Abravanel's Theory of Dogmas in Judaism as Reflected in his Rosh Amana."

Feinberg served as rabbi at two Reform congregations. He served first at Temple Beth El in Rockford, Illinois from 1932 to 1942 and then at Congregation Rodef Sholom in Youngstown, Ohio from 1942 until his death in 1946.

During World War II Feinberg enlisted and was accepted as a chaplain in the United States Navy. A subsequent physical examination revealed, however, that Feinberg had a perforated ear drum. He was declared physically unfit for service as a chaplain and his appointment was withdrawn. Feinberg then attempted to enlist in the United States Army Chaplaincy, but was again rejected because of his perforated ear drum.

Feinberg was a member of the Central Conference of American Rabbis and served as a member of the CCAR's Social Justice Committee. Also, while at Rockford, Feinberg enrolled at the University of Chicago and began working toward a doctorate in Comparative Religion. he was nearing completion of his dissertation when he became ill and died in 1946.

Abraham H. Feinberg died on February 25, 1946 at the age of 39.


The ABRAHAM H. FEINBERG PAPERS (1926-1947) document the career of Abraham H. Feinberg, rabbi at Temple Beth El, Rockford, Illinois, from 1932 to 1942 and at Congregation Rodef Sholom, Youngstown, Ohio, from 1942 to his death in 1946. The collection consists of sermons, student papers, notes, correspondence, clippings and miscellaneous items. The Papers have been organized into five series:

  • Subseries 1: Sermons and Addresses
  • Subseries 2: Prayers, Eulogies and Radio Messages
  • Subseries 1: Student Papers
  • Subseries 2: Class Notes
  • Subseries 1: Angelogy and Demonology
  • Subseries 2: General Topics
  • The WRITINGS series Sub-Series 1. Sermons and Addresses consists of three and one-half Hollinger boxes. The sermons and addresses in this sub-series are arranged alphabetically.

    Sub-Series 2. Prayers, Eulogies and Radio Messages consists of one-half Hollinger box. The prayers are not dated and the radio messages are dated only for the year 1942. The eulogies are arranged alphabetically by the name of the deceased.

    The STUDENT PAPERS AND CLASS NOTES (1926-1934) series consists of one and one-half Hollinger boxes of papers from Feinberg's classes at the University of Cincinnati, Hebrew Union College and the University of Chicago.

    Sub-Series 1. Student Papers consists of one-half Hollinger box and includes term papers along with Feinberg's 1932 Rabbinical thesis, "Abravanel's Theory of Dogmas in Judaism as Reflected in his Rosh Amana." These papers are arranged chronologically.

    Sub-Series 2. Class Notes consists of one Hollinger box of notes from classes Fineberg attended. This sub-series is arranged alphabetically by the title of the class.

    The CORRESPONDENCE series (1930-1946) consists of one-half Hollinger box of correspondence. The correspondence is arranged alphabetically by the name of the person or organization. Letters from the same person are arranged chronologically within the folders.

    Note: Access to some of the more important subjects and individuals in this collection may be made through the Box and Folder List and the Subject Tracings at the end of the inventory.

    The RESEARCH NOTES series Sub-Series 1. Angelogy and Demonology consists of two Hollinger boxes of notes for a manuscript on the subject of Satan. The notes have been alphabetically arranged according to the topics given them by Feinberg. At the end of the sub-series there is a draft of the manuscript Feinberg wrote on this subject.

    Sub-Series 2. General Topics consists of one Hollinger box of notes on a variety of subjects. These notes have been kept in the arrangement given them by Feinberg.

    The MISCELLANEOUS series consists of one-half Hollinger box of published articles from other authors, clippings, bulletins from Congregation Rodef Sholom, Youngstown, Ohio for 1945, and other miscellaneous papers.


    Box  Folder    Contents
    Sub-Series 1. Sermons and Addresses
    1    1         Ac-Am
         2         An-Ar
         3         B
         4         Ca-Ci
         5         Co-Cu
         6         D
         7         E
         8         F
         9         G
         10        H
    2    1         I
         2         J
         3         K
         4         L
         5         Ma-Mi
         6         Mo-My
         7         N
         8         O
         9         P
         10        Q
         11        Ra-Re
         12        Ro-Ru
    3    1         Sa-Se
         2         Sh-So
         3         Sp-St
         4         Su-Sz
         5         T
         6         U-V
         7         Wa-Wha
         8         Whe-Wo
         9         Y
    4    1         Untitled Sermons
         2         Untitled Sermons
         3         Untitled Sermons
         4         United Jewish Laymen's Committee-Sermons
         5         Marriage Sermons
    Sub-Series 2. Prayers, Eulogies and Radio Messages
    4    6         Prayers, n.d.
         7         Eulogies, A-W
         8         Eulogies, miscellaneous
         9         Radio messages 1942, n.d.
    Sub-Series 1. Student Papers
         10        Student Papers 1926-1934
         11        Rabbinical Thesis-"Abravanel's Theory of Dogmas in
                   Judaism as Reflected in his Rosh Amana" 1932
    5    1-4       Student Papers n.d.
    Sub-Series 2. Class Notes
         5         General History of Science and Religion, n.d.
         6         Idea of God in Great Religions 1933-1934
         7         Introduction to the Study of Religions, n.d.
         8         Modern Trends in World Religions, 1934
         9         Philosophy of Art, 1930
         10        Philosophy of Religion, 1933-1934
         11        Psychology and Personality, 1931
         12        Psychology and Religion, 1930
         13        Rise of Christianity, 1933-1934
         14        Systematic Theology-Nature of Salvation, 1933
    6    1         Types of Religious Philosophies, n.d.
         2         A-L
         3         M-W
         4         Naval Chaplaincy, 1943-1944
         5         Unidentified
    Sub-Series 1. Angelology and Demonology
         6-9       Angelology and Demonology, General
         10        Apocalyptic and psuedepigraphic Literature
    6    11        Asmodeus, Ashmedai and Shamdon
         12        Beliar-Bileaim and Lilith
         13        Bene Elohim
    7    1         Judaism, Zoroastrianism and Ahriman
         2         Magic, Heavenly Court and Miscellaneous
         3         Origin and Evolution of Satan
         4         Satan
         5         Satan
         6         Satan
         7         Satan-Bible Passages
         8         Satan-References to Talmud
         9         Seraphim, Cherubin, Azazel and Samael
         10        Techniques for Control of Satan
    8    1-4       Text, Translations, Notes
         5-7       Miscellaneous notes
    9    1         Draft of Manuscript, Notes, Outlines
    Sub-Series 2. General Topics
         2-7       General Topics
    10   1-3       General Topics
         4         Published articles
         5         Clippings
         6         Bulletins-Congregation Rodef Sholom,
                        Youngstown, Ohio 1945
         7         Miscellaneous Papers 


    Note: The following list of subjects is a selective index to many of the topics and individuals in the ABRAHAM H. FEINBERG PAPERS. It is selective in that it only attempts to draw attention to the more significant items in the collection. It does not attempt to list every subject or individual nor does it try to indicate all places that a listed subject or individual appears in the collection. When used in conjunction with the Box and Folder List, the Subject Tracings should help the researcher locate topics. References are to boxes and folders: e.g., 2/5 means Box 2, Folder 5.

    Anti-Semitism, 8; 2/9
    Brandeis, Louis D. 1/3
    Braude, William G. 6/2
    Cardoza, Nathan 1/4
    Communism 1/7; 2/1; 3/2, 3
    Fascism 1/4, 5, 6, 7, 8; 2/1; 3/3, 8
    Hebrew Union College 6/2
    Hitler, Adolf 1/7, 10
    Holmes, Oliver Wendell 1/9
    Jewish-Christian Relations 1/4; 2/2; 3/2, 7, 8
    Lincoln, Abraham 2/4, 9
    Lindbergh, Charles A. 1/1
    Morgenstern, Charles A. 1/1
    Niles, David 6/3
    Palestine 2/11; 3/8
    Roosevelt, Franklin D. 1/8; 2/11
    Rosenwald, Julius 2/11
    Schechter, Solomon 3/1
    Szold, Henrietta 3/4
    Weizmann, Chaim 3/7
    Wise, Stephen S. 3/8
    Zionism 2/11; 3/2, 3, 7