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Proskauer, Joseph Meyer (06 August 1877–11 September 1971), judge, political adviser, and Jewish communal leader, was born in Mobile, Alabama, the son of Alfred Proskauer, a bank cashier, and Rebecca Leinkauf. Born into a southern Jewish family of German and Hungarian descent, Proskauer was educated at Columbia College (B.A., 1896) and Columbia Law School (LL.B., 1899) and began practicing law in New York City in partnership with college friend James Rosenberg in 1900. Two years later both men entered the well-known firm of James, Schell & Elkus, which eventually became Elkus, Gleason & Proskauer. In 1903 Proskauer married Alice Naumburg. ...

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Rubinow, Isaac Max (19 April 1875–01 September 1936), social insurance expert and Jewish social service administrator, was born in Grodno, Russia, the son of Max Simon Rubinow, a textile merchant, and Esther Shereshewsky. Little is known about Rubinow’s childhood other than the fact that he migrated to the United States at the age of eighteen. Having a relatively privileged background, he was connected to a cosmopolitan network of kin, who facilitated his entry into American life. Rubinow enrolled in Columbia University, earning a B.A. in 1895 and an M.D. three years later. In 1899 he married Sophia Himowich; they had three children. As a doctor to New York City’s poor between 1898 and 1903, Rubinow discovered that the illnesses and disabilities he treated were as much socioeconomic as physiological or pathological in origin. Eager to corroborate this hypothesis, he abandoned his medical practice and began to conduct the sort of investigative studies of the urban working class being done at the time by Charles Booth in England. He took graduate courses in mathematics while working for a Ph.D. in political science at Columbia. Under the direction of ...

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Stephen Samuel Wise Photograph by Pirie MacDonald, 1913. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-75146).

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Wise, Stephen Samuel (17 March 1874–19 April 1949), rabbi, reformer, and Jewish communal leader, was born in Erlau, Hungary (near Budapest), the son of Aaron Weisz (later Wise), a rabbi, and Sabine de Fischer Farkashazy, the daughter of a baron. Aaron Weisz immigrated to the United States in 1874 and fifteen months later sent for his wife and children. The descendant of six generations of rabbis, Stephen Wise never considered any other career. He studied first with his father, then simultaneously at both the new Jewish Theological Seminary and Columbia University (graduating from Columbia in 1892). In 1893 he took his rabbinical ordination in Vienna from Adolf Jellinik, the renowned Jewish rabbi and scholar....