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Kohler, Max James (22 May 1871–24 July 1934), jurist, historian, and Jewish communal worker, was born in Detroit, Michigan, the son of Kaufmann Kohler and Johanna Einhorn. His parents were Jewish immigrants from Germany, and both his father and grandfather, David Einhorn, were leading rabbis of the Reform Movement in American Judaism. Upon the death of Kohler’s grandfather in 1879, his father assumed Einhorn’s pulpit at New York’s Congregation Beth El, and the family moved to that city. There he grew up in an atmosphere infused with a devotion to both religious values and scholarly pursuits. After completing high school, Kohler attended the College of the City of New York, where he won several important literary prizes. Following his graduation in 1890, he entered Columbia University, from which he received both M.A. (1891) and LL.B. (1893) degrees. He was admitted to the New York State bar in 1893 and became an assistant U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, resigning after four years to start a private law practice. In 1906 he married Winifred Lichtenauer, who died in 1922. No children resulted from the marriage....

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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 ...