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Eugene Kohn

Eugene Kohn

Eugene Kohn (January 26, 1887 - April 1, 1977) was an American Reconstructionist rabbi, writer and editor. Born in Newark, New Jersey he attended the Jewish Theological Seminary of America and in 1912 received ordination. It was here that he met Rabbi Mordecai Kaplan who taught him homiletics. Between 1912 and 1939 he served as a congregational rabbi in Conservative synagogues in the U.S. states of Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Wisconsin and Ohio. He also served as the president of the Rabbinical Assembly 1936-1937. He played a central role in the Reconstructionist movement. He edited its journal The Reconstructionist and, alongside Kaplan and Ira Eisenstein, edited The New Haggadah (1941), The Sabbath Prayer Book (1945) and The Reconstructionist Prayer Book (1948). Alongside Jack Cohen, Eisenstein and Milton Steinberg he was one of Kaplan's main disciples.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eugene_Kohn

תפילה להתחדש | A Prayer for Renewal, by Hillel Zeitlin

Contributed on: 31 Dec 2018 by Aharon N. Varady (transcription) | Eugene Kohn | Hillel Zeitlin |

This prayer by Hillel Zeitlin was published as “That We Be Reborn” with an English translation by Eugene Kohn in the Sabbath Prayer Book (Jewish Reconstructionist Foundation 1945) of Rabbi Mordecai Kaplan. I have slightly modified Kohn’s translation by replacing thee and thou with you and your, etc. Zeitlin’s prayer is undated and likely was published earlier and elsewhere. If you have more information on the original publication of this prayer, please contact us or leave a comment. . . .


Abridged Prayer Book for Jews in the Armed Forces of the United States (National Jewish Welfare Board 1941)

Contributed on: 16 Jan 2022 by Aharon N. Varady (digital imaging and document preparation) | Eugene Kohn | David de Sola Pool | Solomon B. Freehof | the National Jewish Welfare Board |

An abridged siddur prepared for use of Jewish military personnel serving in the armed forces of the United States in advance of World War II, and printed by the Jewish Publication Society. . . .


An American Covenant of Brotherhood, by Rabbi Mordecai Kaplan and Eugene Kohn (1945)

Contributed on: 20 Feb 2021 by Aharon N. Varady (transcription) | Eugene Kohn | Mordecai Kaplan |

A civic prayer for the Sabbath occurring during Brotherhood Week (February 19th-28th) in the United States. . . .


Closing Prayer for Arbor Day, by Rabbi Mordecai Kaplan, J. Paul Williams, and Eugene Kohn (1951)

Contributed on: 11 Jan 2021 by Aharon N. Varady (transcription) | John Paul Williams | Eugene Kohn | Mordecai Kaplan |

This closing prayer for Arbor Day, “The Significance of the Day,” was first published in The Faith of America: Readings, Songs, and Prayers for the Celebration of American Holidays (Jewish Reconstructionist Foundation 1951), p. 86. . . .


Closing Prayer for Labor Day, by Rabbi Mordecai Kaplan, J. Paul Williams, and Eugene Kohn (1951)

Contributed on: 11 Apr 2021 by Aharon N. Varady (transcription) | Eugene Kohn | John Paul Williams | Mordecai Kaplan |

“Closing Prayer [for Labor Day]” was first published in The Faith of America: Readings, Songs, and Prayers for the Celebration of American Holidays (Jewish Reconstructionist Foundation 1951), p.165. . . .


Closing Prayer for New Year’s Day, adapted by Mordecai Kaplan & Eugene Kohn from a prayer by Members of the Faculty of the Colgate Divinity School (1947)

Contributed on: 22 Dec 2020 by Aharon N. Varady (transcription) | Eugene Kohn | John Paul Williams | Mordecai Kaplan | Members of the Faculty of Colgate-Rochester Divinity School |

This “Closing Prayer” for New Year’s Day was adapted by Mordecai Kaplan and Eugene Kohn from a prayer first published by unnamed “Members of the Faculty” of the Colgate-Rochester Divinity School (The Colgate-Rochester Divinity School Bulletin, “Prayers for the New Year,” vol. 19 no. 2 (1947), pp. 65-71). Kaplan & Kohn’s adapted prayer essentially contains excerpts from the prayer of the Faculty (excluding any with explicit Christian content). The adapted prayer was published in The Faith of America: Readings, Songs, and Prayers for the Celebration of American Holidays (Jewish Reconstructionist Foundation 1951), p. 25-26. –Aharon Varady . . .


Closing Prayer for Thanksgiving Day, by Rabbi Mordecai Kaplan, J. Paul Williams, and Eugene Kohn (1951)

Contributed on: 22 Dec 2020 by Aharon N. Varady (transcription) | Eugene Kohn | John Paul Williams | Mordecai Kaplan |

This closing prayer for Thanksgiving Day was first published in The Faith of America: Readings, Songs, and Prayers for the Celebration of American Holidays (Jewish Reconstructionist Foundation 1951), p. 327-328 — following at the end of a number of readings selected by Mordecai Kaplan, Eugene Kohn, and J. Paul Williams for the day. . . .


Closing Prayer for United Nations Day, by Rabbi Mordecai Kaplan, J. Paul Williams, and Eugene Kohn (1951)

Contributed on: 16 Oct 2021 by Aharon N. Varady (transcription) | John Paul Williams | Eugene Kohn | Mordecai Kaplan |

This closing prayer for United Nations Day was first published in The Faith of America: Readings, Songs, and Prayers for the Celebration of American Holidays (Jewish Reconstructionist Foundation 1951), p. 272-273. . . .


Closing Prayer for Washington’s Birthday, by Rabbi Mordecai Kaplan, J. Paul Williams, and Eugene Kohn (1951)

Contributed on: 20 Feb 2021 by Aharon N. Varady (transcription) | John Paul Williams | Eugene Kohn | Mordecai Kaplan |

This closing prayer for Washington’s Birthday as first published in The Faith of America: Readings, Songs, and Prayers for the Celebration of American Holidays (Jewish Reconstructionist Foundation 1951). . . .


Opening Prayer for United Nations Day, by Rabbi Mordecai Kaplan, J. Paul Williams, and Eugene Kohn (1951)

Contributed on: 16 Oct 2021 by Aharon N. Varady (transcription) | John Paul Williams | Eugene Kohn | Mordecai Kaplan |

This opening prayer for United Nations Day, “The Significance of the Day,” was first published in The Faith of America: Readings, Songs, and Prayers for the Celebration of American Holidays (Jewish Reconstructionist Foundation 1951), p. 249-250. . . .


Opening Prayer on the Significance of Arbor Day, by Rabbi Mordecai Kaplan, J. Paul Williams, and Eugene Kohn (1951)

Contributed on: 11 Jan 2021 by Aharon N. Varady (transcription) | John Paul Williams | Eugene Kohn | Mordecai Kaplan |

This opening prayer for Arbor Day, “The Significance of the Day,” was first published in The Faith of America: Readings, Songs, and Prayers for the Celebration of American Holidays (Jewish Reconstructionist Foundation 1951), p. 3-4 — as preface to a number of readings selected by Mordecai Kaplan, Eugene Kohn, and J. Paul Williams for the day. . . .


Opening Prayer on the Significance of Labor Day, by Rabbi Mordecai Kaplan, J. Paul Williams, and Eugene Kohn (1951)

Contributed on: 11 Apr 2021 by Aharon N. Varady (transcription) | Eugene Kohn | John Paul Williams | Mordecai Kaplan |

“Opening Prayer on the Significance of [Labor] Day” was first published in The Faith of America: Readings, Songs, and Prayers for the Celebration of American Holidays (Jewish Reconstructionist Foundation 1951), p.165. . . .


Opening Prayer on the Significance of Lincoln’s Birthday, by Rabbi Mordecai Kaplan, J. Paul Williams, and Eugene Kohn (1951)

Contributed on: 10 Feb 2021 by Aharon N. Varady (transcription) | John Paul Williams | Eugene Kohn | Mordecai Kaplan |

This opening prayer-essay for Lincoln’s Birthday, “The Significance of the Day,” was first published in The Faith of America: Readings, Songs, and Prayers for the Celebration of American Holidays (Jewish Reconstructionist Foundation 1951) — as preface to a number of readings selected by Mordecai Kaplan, Eugene Kohn, and J. Paul Williams for the day. . . .


Opening Prayer on the Significance of New Year’s Day, by Rabbi Mordecai Kaplan, J. Paul Williams, and Eugene Kohn (1951)

Contributed on: 22 Dec 2020 by Aharon N. Varady (transcription) | Eugene Kohn | John Paul Williams | Mordecai Kaplan |

This opening prayer for New Year’s Day, “The Significance of the Day,” was first published in The Faith of America: Readings, Songs, and Prayers for the Celebration of American Holidays (Jewish Reconstructionist Foundation 1951), p. 3-4 — as preface to a number of readings selected by Mordecai Kaplan, Eugene Kohn, and J. Paul Williams for the day. . . .


Opening Prayer on the Significance of Thanksgiving Day, by Rabbi Mordecai Kaplan, J. Paul Williams, and Eugene Kohn (1951)

Contributed on: 22 Dec 2020 by Aharon N. Varady (transcription) | Eugene Kohn | John Paul Williams | Mordecai Kaplan |

This opening prayer for Thanksgiving Day, “The Significance of the Day,” was first published in The Faith of America: Readings, Songs, and Prayers for the Celebration of American Holidays (Jewish Reconstructionist Foundation 1951), p. 304 — as preface to a number of readings selected by Mordecai Kaplan, Eugene Kohn, and J. Paul Williams for the day. . . .


Opening Prayer on the Significance of Washington’s Birthday, by Rabbi Mordecai Kaplan, J. Paul Williams, and Eugene Kohn (1951)

Contributed on: 20 Feb 2021 by Aharon N. Varady (transcription) | John Paul Williams | Eugene Kohn | Mordecai Kaplan |

This opening prayer for Washington’s Birthday, “The Significance of the Day,” as first published in The Faith of America: Readings, Songs, and Prayers for the Celebration of American Holidays (Jewish Reconstructionist Foundation 1951). . . .


Prayer [for Military Personnel] in Temptation (National Jewish Welfare Board 1941)

Contributed on: 19 Apr 2022 by Aharon N. Varady (transcription) | David de Sola Pool | Eugene Kohn | Solomon B. Freehof | the National Jewish Welfare Board |

This “Prayer in Temptation” can be found in the Abridged Prayer Book for the Jews in the Armed Forces of the United States (Jewish Welfare Board 1941), p. 120. As far as we know, this prayer is unique to this prayerbook, although the text recalls the waking prayer “Elohai Neshama.” . . .


Prayer [of Military Personnel] for Home (National Jewish Welfare Board 1941)

Contributed on: 20 Apr 2022 by Aharon N. Varady (transcription) | David de Sola Pool | Eugene Kohn | Solomon B. Freehof | the National Jewish Welfare Board |

This “Prayer for Home” can be found in the Abridged Prayer Book for the Jews in the Armed Forces of the United States (Jewish Welfare Board 1941), p. 119. . . .


ספר תפילות לשבת | Sabbath Prayer Book, by the Jewish Reconstructionist Foundation (1945)

Contributed on: 15 Sep 2017 by Aharon N. Varady (digital imaging and document preparation) | Mordecai Kaplan | Eugene Kohn | Ira Eisenstein | Milton Steinberg | Jewish Reconstructionist Foundation |

Arranged and translated by Rabbi Mordecai Kaplan, the Sabbath Prayer Book is the first Reconstructionist prayerbook we know of to have entered the Public Domain. . . .


The Dignity of Labor, a prayer for Labor Day by Rabbi Mordecai Kaplan, J. Paul Williams, and Eugene Kohn (1951)

Contributed on: 11 Apr 2021 by Aharon N. Varady (transcription) | Eugene Kohn | John Paul Williams | Mordecai Kaplan |

“Dignity of Labor” is a prayer for Labor Day first published in The Faith of America: Readings, Songs, and Prayers for the Celebration of American Holidays (Jewish Reconstructionist Foundation 1951), p.176-177. . . .


The Faith of America: Readings, Songs, and Prayers for the Celebration of American Holidays, compiled by Rabbi Mordecai Kaplan, J. Paul Williams, and Eugene Kohn (1951)

Contributed on: 22 Dec 2020 by Eugene Kohn | John Paul Williams | Mordecai Kaplan | Jewish Reconstructionist Foundation |

A collection of civic prayers, poems, and readings arranged for thirteen civic holidays in the United States. . . .


בִּרְכַּת עָם (תֶחֱזַקְנָה)‏ | The People’s Blessing (a/k/a Teḥezaqnah), by Ḥayyim Naḥman Bialik (1894)

Contributed on: 20 Aug 2018 by Aharon N. Varady (transcription) | Eugene Kohn | the Ben Yehuda Project (transcription) | Ḥayyim Naḥman Bialik |

Before HaTikvah was chosen, Ḥayyim Naḥman Bialik’s “People’s Blessing” (בִּרְכַּת עָם, also known by its incipit תֶחֱזַֽקְנָה Teḥezaqnah) was once considered for the State of Israel’s national anthem. Bialik was 21 years old when he composed the work in 1894. It later was chosen as the anthem of the Labor Zionist movement. We hereby present the first ever complete English translation of this poem. . . .


War Can Be Abolished, by Rabbi Mordecai Kaplan, J. Paul Williams, and Eugene Kohn (1951)

Contributed on: 16 Oct 2021 by Aharon N. Varady (transcription) | John Paul Williams | Eugene Kohn | Mordecai Kaplan |

“War Can Be Abolished,” was first published in The Faith of America: Readings, Songs, and Prayers for the Celebration of American Holidays (Jewish Reconstructionist Foundation 1951), p. 262-265. . . .


הִנֵּה שָׁם אֶמְצָאֶךָּ | Where We Can Find Yah, a prayer-poem by Eugene Kohn (1945) inspired by Rabindranath Tagore’s Gitanjali (Song Offerings, 1912)

Contributed on: 18 Feb 2019 by Aharon N. Varady (transcription) | Eugene Kohn | David Frischmann (translation) | Rabindranath Tagore |

“Where We Can Find God,” a prayer-poem inspired by passages appearing in David Frishman’s Hebrew translation of Rabindranath Tagore’s Gitanjali. . . .



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