Access and Provenance

Biographical Sketch

Scope and Content Note

Box and Folder Listing

Subject Tracings

A Finding Aid to the

Joseph Rauch Papers

Manuscript Collection No. 91

1900-1957. 5.2 Linear ft.

The JOSEPH RAUCH PAPERS were donated to the American Jewish Archives 
by Etta Rauch, the wife of Joseph Rauch, in October, 1959. In 1961
and 1964 Mrs. Rauch presented additional supplements of her husband's papers
to the Archives. In April, 1980 another supplement of the Joseph Rauch papers
were presented to the Archives by Mrs. Aimee Helen Katz, executor of the
estate of Etta Rauch.

Property rights have been assigned to the American Jewish Archives. All 
literary rights to materials authored by Dr. Rauch are held by the Rauch
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 JOSEPH RAUCH PAPERS are open to all users. The original manuscript 
collection is available in the reading room of the American Jewish Archives.


Joseph Rauch was born in Podhajce, Galicia, Austria on December 25,
1880. Little is known of his childhood in Austria, but it is known that his
family came to the United States ahead of him and that Rauch traveled alone to
the United States to meet them when he was 12. They settled in Galveston,
Texas, where Rauch lived in an atmosphere that was radically different from
that of the Eastern Seaboard where most immigrant Jews settled. Later in his
life Rauch would comment that he felt his childhood in Texas gave him a
perspective on American life that other immigrants, who lived in the East,
were unable to obtain.

Rauch and his family eventually moved to Cincinnati, Ohio, where he
studied at the University of Cincinnati and the Hebrew Union College, and was
ordained a rabbi in 1905. Rauch continued his studies in later years at the
University of Chicago, Columbia University, Cambridge University in England
and the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary where he earned a Doctor of
Theology degree. In 1944, the Hebrew Union College awarded him with an
honorary Doctor of Philosophy degree.

Following his ordination in 1905, Rauch moved to Sioux City, Iowa to
become rabbi of Mt. Sinai Temple. He remained there until April, 1912 when he
accepted a call to become rabbi at Congregation Adath Israel in Louisville,
Kentucky, where he remained for 44 years, until his death in 1957.

In 1942 the congregation, as part of the 30th anniversary celebration of
his rabbinate in Louisville, elected him rabbi for life. Also, in 1953, the
congregation decided to name the chapel in their newly built education
building in his honor.

Throughout his career Rauch was a tireless participant in organizational
and civic activities. He was active in the Central Conference of American
Rabbis, serving on the executive committee and serving as chairman of the
CCAR's Special Publication Committee. Rauch was also a founding member of the
World Union for Progressive Judaism in 1926, delivering the inaugural sermon
at the WUPJ's founding. he also gave the principal address at the WUPJ's 25th
anniversary and was the first honorary life member elected by the
organization. In addition, Rauch was active in many other major organizations,
including the Jewish Welfare Board, the YMHA, the International Prison
Congress and the Hebrew Union College Alumni Association, of which he served
as president.

In Louisville, Rauch, in 1918, was an organizer of the Louisville
Federation of Social Agencies. In 1922 he became a member of the Louisville
Free Public Library Board of Trustees, served 18 consecutive terms as
president and led a successful drive to end segregation in the Library system.
Rauch was also a member of the University of Louisville's Board of Trustee
from 1933-1946 and served on numerous other local committees and

Rauch was very active in inter-faith work, often preaching in Protestant 
pulpits and always striving for better understanding and communication
between Christians and Jews. Rauch travelled often, crossing the Atlantic
57 times after his arrival in America.  He also authored two books, The
Origin and Development of the Apocalypse in the Bible and The Meaning of
the Torah.

Rauch was married to Etta Rosenfelder.  He died on February 18, 1957, in 
Louisville, Kentucky.


The JOSEPH RAUCH PAPERS (1900-1957) document the career of Joseph Rauch,
Reform rabbi, community leader and founding member of the World Union for
Progressive Judaism. The bulk of the collection consists of sermons but also
includes correspondence, congregational records, personal and miscellaneous
items. The Papers have been organized into four series: 


The SERMONS AND ADDRESSES series (1900-1956) consists of eight Hollinger
boxes of sermons, addresses and lectures given by Rauch. The sermons in boxes
1-3 are arranged alphabetically by title. The sermons in boxes 4-8 are in
ledgers that have been numbered and are arranged chronologically according to
the first dated sermon in each ledger. Also included in this series are eulogies, 
statements of appreciation and prayers.

The CORRESPONDENCE series (1907-1957) consists of one Hollinger box of
letters arranged alphabetically by the name of the person or organization. The
letters within the folders are arranged chronologically.

The CONGREGATIONAL RECORDS series (1906-1956) consists of one Hollinger
box of materials gathered by Rauch during his 44 year tenure as rabbi of
Congregation Adath Israel in Louisville, Kentucky. The materials pertain to
activities and organizations of the congregation but are in no way either the
complete or official records of the congregation.

The PERSONAL series (1913-1957) consists of four Hollinger boxes of
items pertaining to Rauch's personal life and interests. Of particular
interest are the diaries of Rauch's many trips abroad.

Additional items were separated from the JOSEPH RAUCH PAPERS for
placement in appropriate special files. Photographs albums of sermons and
ceremonies involving Rauch have been placed in the flat files. Photographs
from the Papers have been placed in the picture file.


Box  Folder    Contents


Note:     The sermons in boxes 1-3 are filed alphabetically according to title.
The sermons in boxes 4-8 are in ledgers which have been numbered and are
arranged chronologically according to the first dated sermon in each ledger.
The span dates for each ledger are listed here.  At the end of this series, 
after the sermons, are eulogies, statements of appreciation and prayers.

1    1         A
     2         B
     3         Ca-Cl
     4         Co-Cr
     5         D
     6         E
     7         F
     8         G
     9         Ha-he
     10        Hi
     11        Ho-Hu

2    1         I
     2         J
     3         K-L
     4         M
     5         N
     6         O
     7         Pa-Ph
     8         Pl-Po
     9         Pr-Pu
     10        Q
     11        Ra-Ref
     12        Rel-Rev
     13        Ri-Ru

3    1         Sa-Si
     2         So-Sp
     3         St-Sy
     4         Ta-Th
     5         To-Tw
     6         U-V
     7         W
     8         Y-Z
     9         Untitled 1905-1912
     10        Untitled n.d.

4    --        Ledger 1 April 2, 1916-February 22, 1921
                      2 October 25, 1919-June 20, 1922
                      3 May 7, 1922-May 17, 1925

5    --        Ledger 4 June 9, 1925-September 22, 1930
                      5 September 6, 1930-September 30, 1933
                      6 March 26, 1932-December 6, 1935
                      7 May 26, 1932-October 9, 1934

6    --               8 October 28, 1933-October 7, 1935
                      9 October 13, 1934-September 21, 1935
                     10 October 15, 1934-October 31, 1936
                     11 October 5, 1935-September 26, 1936
                     12 December 19, 1935-May 15, 1939
                     13 September 12, 1936-December 11, 1937

7    --             14 October 9, 1936-March 19, 1938
                    15 September 5, 1937-September 27, 1944
                    16 March 29, 1946-November 27, 1955
                    17 September 25, 1946-September 19,1953

8    --             18 November 27, 1946-January 25, 1951
                    19 September 7, 1952-February 5, 1956
                    20 September 27, 1954-September 15, 1956
                    21 June 26, 1956-December 11, 1956

     1-2       Eulogies A-W
     3         Statements of Appreciation : Memorials A-W

9    1         Prayers 1913-1955, n.d.


Note: The correspondence within this series is arranged alphabetically by the
name of the person or organization. The letters within the folders are
arranged chronologically.

     2         A-E, General
     3         Central Conference of American Rabbis [Manual for 
                    Instruction of Proselytes] 1926-1927
     4         Cincinnati [University of] 1953
     5         Committee on the Referendum for Budgeting 1941
     6         G-K, General
     7         Jerusalmi, Isaac 1953
     8         Jewish Chautauqua Society
     9         L-R, General
     10        Montagu, Lily H. 1949-1957
     11        National Conference of Christians and Jews
     12        S-U, General
     13        Southern Council on International Relations
                    1947, n.d.
     14        Universal Jewish Encyclopedia 1941
     15        World Union for Progressive Judaism 1937-1956
     16        Unidentified 1909-1919, n.d.

SERIES C. CONGREGATIONAL RECORDS - Louisville, Ky. - Congregation
     Adath Israel

10   1-6       Bible Study Class 1923-1929, n.d.
     7-12      Confirmation 1917-1956, n.d.
     13        Holiday and Special Services [B-S] 1927-1951, n.d.
     14        Rauch, Joseph - Appreciation Night 1945
     15        Religious School 1922-1956, n.d.
     16        Miscellaneous 1906-1949, n.d.


Note:     This series contains items dealing with Joseph Rauch's personal life.
Included in this series are items pertaining to subjects of importance to
Rauch, such as education and young people. Also included are records of
funeral and marriage ceremonies performed by Rauch during his ministry. The
items are arranged alphabetically according to title or subject, and the
materials within the folders are arranged chronologically.

     1         Appointment Book 1924
     2         Crusade for Children 1956-1957
     3         Funeral Records 1921-1952
     4         Last Will and Testament 1955
     5         Marriage Records 1941-1957
     6-7       Midcentury White House Conference on Children
                    and Youth 1950
     8         Notes
     9         Religious Education 1916-1941, n.d.

12   1-5       Travel Diaries 1913; 1933-1936
13   1-3       Travel Diaries 1936-1938; 1949
     4         Personal Miscellaneous 1926-1957, n.d.
     5         Clippings
     6         Miscellaneous 1922-1956, n.d.


Note:     The following list of subjects is a selective index to many of the
topics and individuals in the JOSEPH RAUCH 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., 2/13 means Box 2, Folder 13.

Alexander, Jerome 9/2
Anti-Semitism 1/1, 10

Berkowits, Henry J. 9/3
Blaustein, Jacob 9/5
Brandeis, Louis D. «
Brickner, Barnett R. 9/10

Church Peace Union 9/2
Central Conference of American Rabbis-
     Commission on Jewish Education 11/8

Education 1/6; 2/2; 3/1; 11/5
Eisendrath, Maurice N. 9/10

Hebrew Sheltering and Immigrant Aid Society 9/6
Hebrew Union College 9/12

Isserman, Ferdinand M. 9/15

Krock, Arthur 9/6
Ku Klux Klan 2/3

Marcus, Jacob R. 9/2
Mattuck, Israel 9/9
Montagu, Lily H. 9/15

Nazism 1/8; 2/3

Russia 1/4; 2/13; 3/5, 8

Schulman, Samuel 9/3, 12

Wolsey, Louis 9/3

Zangwill, Israel 3/8
Zionism 1/4; 2/9; 3/8