Joachim Prinz, Rebellious Rabbi: An Autobiography: The German and Early American Years

Overview

Joachim Prinz (1902–1988) was one of the most extraordinary and innovative figures in modern Jewish history. Never one for conformity, Prinz developed and modeled a new rabbinical role that set him apart from his colleagues in Weimar Germany. Provocative, strikingly informal and determinedly anti-establishment, he repeatedly stirred up controversy. During the Hitler years, Prinz strove to preserve the self-respect and dignity of a Jewish community that was vilified on a daily basis by Nazi propaganda. After ...

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Overview

Joachim Prinz (1902–1988) was one of the most extraordinary and innovative figures in modern Jewish history. Never one for conformity, Prinz developed and modeled a new rabbinical role that set him apart from his colleagues in Weimar Germany. Provocative, strikingly informal and determinedly anti-establishment, he repeatedly stirred up controversy. During the Hitler years, Prinz strove to preserve the self-respect and dignity of a Jewish community that was vilified on a daily basis by Nazi propaganda. After immigrating to the United States in 1937, he soon became a prominent rabbi in New Jersey, drawing thousands to his unpredictable sermons. Prinz's autobiography, superbly introduced and annotated by Michael A. Meyer, offers a fascinating glimpse into the life and personality of this unconventional and influential rabbi.

Indiana University Press

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Editorial Reviews

Forward

"Prinz's autobiography... enriches our understanding of the desperate but not yet hopeless life of German Jews in the German 1930s." —Forward

Association of Jewish Libraries Newsletter
"This is a work that should be in every large pubic, seminary, synagogue, and university collection." —Morton J. Merowitz, Association of Jewish Libraries Newsletter, septermber/october 2008

— Morton J. Merowitz

American Jewish Archives Journal

"[This] well-written and absorbing autobiography surpasses many scholarly monographs in providing an insightful portrayal of Jewish life in Germany between World War I and the early years of Nazi rule." —American Jewish Archives Journal, Vol. LXI, no. 1 (2009)

H-Net Reviews H-Judaic

"Students of the German Jewish experience, the Holocaust, and American Jewish history, as well as rabbis and rabbinic students will all find Joachim Prinz, Rebellious Rabbi engaging and worthy of their consideration for many different reasons." —H-Net Reviews H-Judaic, October 2009

H-Net Reviews

"The recently published Joachim Prinz, Rebellious Rabbi, edited and superby introduced by noted historian Michael A. Meyer, is a remarkable historical document with literary merit.... Written by a successful, confident senior rabbi in his "anecdotage", it illuminates the public life and private world of a leading Jewish figure of the twentieth century with refreshing clarity and honesty." —H-Net Reviews, October 2009

Michael Brenner

"Fascinating reading... a rare case where a public figure opens the doors widely to his private life... truly unique for the light it throws on the atmosphere among Jews in pre—Nazi and Nazi Germany." —Michael Brenner, author of After the Holocaust: Rebuilding Jewish Lives in Postwar Germany

Association of Jewish Libraries Newsletter - Morton J. Merowitz

"This is a work that should be in every large pubic, seminary, synagogue, and university collection." —Morton J. Merowitz, Association of Jewish Libraries Newsletter, septermber/october 2008

From the Publisher
"Students of the German Jewish experience, the Holocaust, and American Jewish history, as well as rabbis and rabbinic students will all find Joachim Prinz, Rebellious Rabbi engaging and worthy of their consideration for many different reasons." —H-Net Reviews H-Judaic, October 2009
School Library Journal

Autobiography is a tricky business. Is the life that one reconstructs through autobiographical memoir truly the life that was, or is it the fiction of the life one wants it to be? These are some of the challenges that editor Meyer (Jewish history, Hebrew Union Coll.) engages as the editor of this fine autobiography. Prinz was a dynamic and charismatic rabbi in Berlin before he was expelled by the Nazis in 1937. He came to the United States with sponsorship from Rabbi Stephen Wise and was an energetic spokesman for Zionism; he held important leadership positions in the World Jewish Congress as well as served as president of the American Jewish Congress. This first of a two-part memoir takes us through the early years of his American rabbinate at Temple B'nai Abraham in Newark, NJ, before ending in 1949 with the death of Stephen Wise. Most interesting during this time was his reaction to American Zionism, something very different from his own notion of what it meant to be an active and committed Zionist. A lucid and insightful introduction to the life of an influential and dynamic public figure. Recommended for libraries with Jewish studies collections.
—Herbert E. Shapiro Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780253349392
  • Publisher: Indiana University Press
  • Publication date: 10/28/2007
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 6.12 (w) x 9.25 (h) x 1.07 (d)

Meet the Author

Michael A. Meyer is Adolph S. Ochs Professor of Jewish History at the Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati, Ohio, and international president of the Leo Baeck Institute, devoted to the history and culture of German-speaking Jewry. He is author of Response to Modernity: A History of the Reform Movement in Judaism and co-editor (with Michael Brenner) of the four-volume German-Jewish History in Modern Times. He lives in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Indiana University Press

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Table of Contents

Contents
Preface
Editor's Introduction

1. Childhood and Youth
Burkhardsdorf
Oppeln
Studies in Breslau and Berlin
2. Rabbi in Berlin
The Weimar Years
The Nazi Years
3. Newark, New Jersey

Appendix A. Chronology
Appendix B. Prinz's Speech at the Lincoln Memorial, August 28, 1963
Appendix C. Books by Joachim Prinz
Index

Indiana University Press

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