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Herberg, Willlocked

(30 June 1901–26 March 1977)
  • Ralph E. Luker


Herberg, Will (30 June 1901–26 March 1977), Jewish intellectual and social critic, was born in Liachovitzi, near Minsk, Russia, the son of Hyman Louis Herberg, an electrical contractor, and Sarah Wolkov, a housekeeper and beltmaker. In 1904 Herberg’s parents emigrated from Russia to the United States, where they settled in a poor Jewish neighborhood in Brooklyn, New York. Herberg’s father began to neglect his business, and when he deserted the family in 1910 its economic condition deteriorated. Eventually, his parents were divorced. Sarah Herberg raised her two sons on a limited income. They occasionally attended synagogue on high holy days, but by his own choice Will Herberg did not have a bar mitzvah. After attending Brooklyn elementary schools, he entered Boys’ High School in 1915, graduated three years later, and entered the College of the City of New York (CCNY) in September 1918....

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