David Philipson

David Philipson (August 9, 1862 – June 29, 1949) was an American Reform rabbi, orator, and author. The son of German-Jewish immigrants, he was a member of the first graduating class of the Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati. As an adult, he was one of the leaders of American Reform Judaism and a philanthropic leader in his adopted hometown of Cincinnati. As rabbi at the largest Reform congregation in the center of Reform Jewish life, Philipson had tremendous influence both within Cincinnati and in the whole country. He was very active in the Central Conference of American Rabbis and United American Hebrew Council throughout his life. He co-wrote the Union Prayer Book, the central prayer book for Reform Judaism, and presided over the first few of its re-publishings. He was a member of the translation committee for the Jewish Publication Society's 1917 Bible translation into English. In the early 20th Century, Philipson was most famous for his anti-Zionist beliefs. Believing that "...no man can be a member of two Nationalities", Philipson used his power to counter what he saw as the exclusionary and zealous acts of Zionists. He used HUC's journal of Reform Judaism, The American Israelite, to further his view that Judaism was a religion exclusively, and thus stateless. Shortly after the First Zionist Congress in Basel, the Union of American Hebrew Congregations held its first convention. With Philipson at their head, they issued a statement in 1897 stating that "America is our Zion." (via his article in Wikipedia)


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