TABLE OF CONTENTS
Manuscript Collection No. 165
Funding, in part, for the arrangement and description of this collection was provided by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.
The youngest of four children, Wolfgang Kaelter was born in 1914 in Danzig (now Gdansk) Poland to Rabbi Robert and Feodora (Cohn) Kaelter. After studying for one year at the Hochshule fur die Wissenschaft des Judentums in Berlin in the early 1930s, he and four other rabbinical students were invited by the president of the Hebrew Union College, Julian Morgenstern, to study in Cincinnati in order to escape Nazi Germany. Kaelter was ordained at HUC in 1940.
In 1953, he became the first director of Camp Saratoga, later Camp Swig, in Northern California. He had a deep commitment to the Jewish camping experience, believing camping was the best way to engage and inspire Jewish youth. A few years later, he became rabbi of Temple Israel in Long Beach where he served until his retirement from the active pulpit in 1979.
He was known as an innovator of worship, a creative programmer, a dynamic educator, a leader of interfaith activities, a gifted counselor, and an inspiring cantor. He believed that the rabbi should take the "p" out of preaching. For him, it was all about reaching, engaging and dialogue.
After retirement, he continued counseling, writing and officiating at life-cycle events. For 25 years, he taught practical rabbinics at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Los Angeles.
Rabbi Kaelter shared his thoughts on life, the rabbinate, relationships and death in his autobiography, "From Danzig: An American Rabbi's Journey" (written with Gordon Cohn). At the core of his life was a continuous desire to find meaning – from the largest event, to the structure of a Hebrew word. Listening to classical music was his anchor, his source of inspiration. He shared more than six decades of his life with his wife, Sarah whom he married in 1938.
--Adapted from "Rabbi Wolli Kaelter, 'A Rabbi's Rabbi, a Mensch's Mensch,' Dies at 93", Obituaries, January 24, 2008, Jewish Journal.com (http://www.jewishjournal.com/obituaries/article/obituaries_20080125/) Accessed February 1, 2012.
This collection consists primarily of sermons along with materials related to Kaelter's involvement with Holocaust Conferences in the late 1970s. Sermons are titled but often undated. Along with general conference papers from the Holocaust Conferences are materials that have to do with incorporating teaching of the Holocaust in school curriculums. Additionally, there are materials relating to Temple Israel (Long Beach, California) and Jewish summer camps. These include scrapbooks, memorials, and anniversary celebrations.
This collection is arranged in a single series.
Terms of Access and Use
This collection is open to all users. The original manuscript collection is available in the Barrows-Loebelson Reading Room of the Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives.
Property and Literary Rights
Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion and Judi Lentzer, by the act of donating this collection to the American Jewish Archives, assigned all property rights to the American Jewish Archives. Literary rights are retained by Wolfgang Kaelter's heirs. Literary rights may also be retained by specific creators of some materials.
Questions concerning rights should be addressed to the Executive Director of the American Jewish Archives. For more information see the American Jewish Archives copyright information webpage.
Audiocassette recordings were removed to the cassette collection: Rosh Hashanah Morning Services, 1976 (C-4747 to C-4748); High Holy Days, 1973 (C-4749); and Kold Nidre Service, 1974 (C-4750).
Photographs were removed to the Wolfgang Kaelter photograph file (PC-2129).
Footnotes and bibliographic references should refer to the Wolfgang Kaelter Papers and the American Jewish Archives. A suggestion for at least the first citation is as follows:
[Description], [Date], Box #, Folder #. MS-165. Wolfgang Kaelter Papers. American Jewish Archives, Cincinnati, Ohio.
The Wolfgang Kaelter Papers were received from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, Los Angeles, Calif., in 2008 and from Judi Lentzer, Lakeland, Calif. in September, 2009.
Processed by Michelle Wirth Detroit, February, 2012.
This collection was arranged and described according to minimal-processing standards. Funding, in part, for the arrangement and description of this collection was provided by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.
The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the AJA Online Catalog.
Persons and Families
Kaelter, Wolfgang, 1914-2008.
Temple Israel (Long Beach, Calif.)
United States. National Historical Publications and Records Commission.
Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945)
Long Beach (Calif.)
Genres and Forms
Rabbis -- California -- Long Beach.