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Adler, Cyrus (1863-1940), academic administrator and Jewish communal leader  

Ira Robinson

Adler, Cyrus (13 September 1863–07 April 1940), academic administrator and Jewish communal leader, was born in Van Buren, Arkansas, to Samuel Adler, a merchant and planter, and Sarah Sulzberger. At an early age Adler’s family moved to Philadelphia and then to New York, where his father died in 1867. The family returned to Philadelphia, where his mother’s brother, David Sulzberger, became head of the household and was a great influence on Adler’s upbringing. As a boy, Adler received an intensive education in Judaic subjects from a consortium of Philadelphia rabbis, headed by ...


Friedlaender, Israel (1876-1920), professor and Semitics scholar  

Baila R. Shargel

Friedlaender, Israel (08 September 1876–05 July 1920), professor and Semitics scholar, was born in Włodawa, Poland, the son of Pinḥas Friedlaender, a cattle dealer, and Gittel Ehrlich. He was raised in Praga, a suburb of Warsaw, in comfortable circumstances in a traditional yet enlightened Jewish household. In early childhood Friedlaender acquired an almost verbatim knowledge of the Hebrew Bible as well as of the corpus of rabbinic literature. Studying with a private tutor, he also mastered the German language and its literary classics....


Jastrow, Morris (1861-1921), Semitist  

Harold S. Wechsler

Jastrow, Morris (13 August 1861–22 June 1921), Semitist, was born in Warsaw, Poland, the son of Rabbi Marcus Jastrow and Bertha Wolfsohn. Morris came to Philadelphia in 1866 when his father acceded to the pulpit of the Rodeph Shalom congregation in that city. After attending private schools in Philadelphia, he studied in the arts department of the University of Pennsylvania, his future employer, graduating in 1881....


Monis, Judah (1683-1764), Hebraist and educator  

Eleanor F. Wedge

Monis, Judah (04 February 1683–25 April 1764), Hebraist and educator, was born to parents of unknown name and origin, although, according to at least one contemporary source, he was born in Italy (probably Venice) and was educated at the Hebrew academies in Leghorn and Amsterdam. Some scholars believe he may have been a member of a Portuguese Marrano family (on the evidence of his name), but his pronunciation of Hebrew—as indicated in the transliterations he used for his students—is “unmistakably that of the Italian Jews of his time” (Moore, p. 288)....


Montgomery, James Alan (1866-1949), Semitist and clergyman  

Cyrus H. Gordon

Montgomery, James Alan (13 June 1866–06 February 1949), Semitist and clergyman, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of Thomas Harrison Montgomery and Anna Morton. In 1887 he graduated with a B.A. degree from the University of Pennsylvania, where in 1904 he also received his Ph.D., having specialized in biblical Hebrew. During the same period he studied theology at the Philadelphia Divinity School from which he was graduated in 1890 and became a deacon of the Protestant Episcopal church. In 1893 he was consecrated as a priest. That same year he married Mary Frank Owen; they had no children. He was a curate at the Church of the Holy Communion in New York City in 1892–1893; at St. Paul’s in West Philadelphia from 1893 to 1895; and at St. Peter’s in Philadelphia from 1895 to 1899. From 1899 until 1903 he was rector of the Church of the Epiphany in Germantown, also serving as assistant editor of the ...


Salisbury, Edward Elbridge (1814-1901), Orientalist  

Benjamin R. Foster

Salisbury, Edward Elbridge (06 April 1814–05 February 1901), Orientalist, was born in Boston, Massachusetts, the son of Josiah Salisbury, a merchant and clergyman, and Abby Breese. He received his preliminary education at home from his father and later at the Boston Latin School and graduated from Yale in 1832. He remained for the next four years in New Haven, studying Hebrew and theology in preparation for a career as a minister. Under the influence of his teacher ...


Torrey, Charles Cutler (1863-1956), biblical scholar and Semitist  

Benjamin R. Foster

Torrey, Charles Cutler (20 December 1863–12 November 1956), biblical scholar and Semitist, was born at East Hardwick, Vermont, son of Joseph Torrey, Jr., a Congregational clergyman, and Maria Thorpe Noble. In 1884 he graduated from Bowdoin College, where in addition to his studies he was a noted baseball and tennis player. He taught for a year at the Auburn (Maine) High School, then returned to Bowdoin in 1885 as a tutor in Latin, earning an M.A. in 1887. He then entered Andover Theological Seminary where he studied Hebrew, Aramaic, and Arabic with the Semitist and biblical scholar ...


Weiss-Rosmarin, Trude (1908-1989), scholar and editor  

Carole S. Kessner

Weiss-Rosmarin, Trude (17 June 1908–26 June 1989), scholar and editor, was born in Frankfurt am Main, Germany, the daughter of Jacob Weiss, a prosperous wine merchant, and Celestine Mulling. Although her parents attended Jewish religious services, they were acculturated to German bourgeois life. As Weiss-Rosmarin later described it, her parents worshiped in an elegant modern Orthodox synagogue, but it was there that she first felt discriminated against as a female. The women sat “upstairs” in a “very civilized luxurious women’s gallery, with a dressing room to leave [one’s] coat and a beadle in a splendid uniform.” But she knew that if she were a boy, she would have been downstairs, and “perhaps even able to shake the rabbi’s hand” ( ...


Welles, Charles Bradford (1901-1969), ancient historian, epigraphist, and papyrologist  

Roger S. Bagnall

Welles, Charles Bradford (09 August 1901–08 October 1969), ancient historian, epigraphist, and papyrologist, was born in Old Saybrook, Connecticut, the son of Charles Thomas Welles, a Hartford banker, and Edith Smith. He was educated at public high school in Hartford, Phillips Exeter Academy for a postgraduate year, and Yale (B.A., 1924; Ph.D. in classics, 1928). The decisive event of his career occurred with the arrival at Yale in 1925 of ...


Willett, Herbert Lockwood (1864-1944), clergyman, orator, and biblical scholar  

Steven W. Holloway

Willett, Herbert Lockwood (05 May 1864–28 March 1944), clergyman, orator, and biblical scholar, was born near Ionia, Michigan, the son of Gordon Arthur Willett, a farm machinery merchant, and Mary Elizabeth Yates, a schoolteacher serving as a nurse in the Union army. Formative in his choice of vocation were the memberships of both the Willett and Yates families in a Disciples of Christ congregation founded in the 1850s by evangelist Isaac Errett. Willett never attended public school. He studied under his mother’s tutelage, memorizing large portions of the Bible and poetry, an accomplishment that later lent distinction to his public and academic addresses. In 1883 his Disciples heritage prompted him to attend Bethany College in West Virginia, the school founded by the denominational leader ...