Jewish Knowledge A-Z Ltrs. I-J

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Independent Order B'rith Abraham:

Founded in New York in 1887, this fraternal insurance order, with 93,971 members is the largest Jewish organization of its kind in the world. Besides its benefits the Order takes a keen interest in general Jewish affairs. It is affiliated both with the American Jewish Committee and the American Jewish Congress, and from time to time votes contributions to Palestinian and other funds. Max Silverstein is Grandmaster, William Eckman, Treasurer; and Max L. Hollander, Grand Secretary.


Marriage between the Jews and members of other races was forbidden in the Bible, but the injunction was not strictly observed, despite the adjurations of the prophets. The Moabites and Ammonites were forbidden because of their hostile attitude. Nevertheless, there is evidence to show that such prohibitions were far from being strictly observed in Biblical times. David's well-known Moabite ancestry and the marriage of Uriah the Hittite to the Judean Bath-Sheba are two conspicuous examples. In the post-exilic period, Ezra and Nehemiah took a stand against intermarriage, but apparently the extensive proselytizing activities which followed must have brought about thousands of marriages between Jews by race and outsiders. Shemaiah and Abtalion, two leaders of the 1st cent. c.e., were known to be descended from Proselytes, while the Hellenistic story of Joseph and Asenath lays down the rule of conversion as the essential prerequisite to intermarriage. This attitude was maintained even after the days of extensive proselytism had ceased. Intermarriage presented a serious problem in Spanish-Jewish history. Mixed marriages were opposed by the synagogue and the church and did not become an important issue until 1807, when Napoleon's Sanhedrin ruled that civil marriages were binding upon Jews. Thus whilst marriages between Jews and Christians were not favored, they were at the same time not illegal and could not make the parties subject to the ban. Since that time numerous Jewish rabbis and conferences have passed resolutions deprecating mixed marriages, although this has not served to check their number, Inter-marriage was forbidden in all Catholic countries as long a the State demanded religious sanctions for wedlock.

The issue has become interesting since the prohibition of intermarriage between Jews and non-Jews in Germany by the Hitler regime, which also proposes to divorce inter-married couples on the ground of racial incompatibility. The numbers affected in Germany are estimated (1933) as from two to six million individuals who have some percentage of Jewish blood in their veins. It was claimed, in 1925, that there were in Germany 4,500 ministers of the Evangelical Church who were born Jews, and who therefore represent the results of conversion rather than of intermarriage for exogamy was only legalized in Prussia in 1875. In 1900 in Prussia the ratio of intermarriage was 10 to every 100 full Jewish marriages. In 1901 there were 658 such unions to 3,873 Jewish marriages. In 1910 the figures for that year rose to 1,003 mixed as against 3,880 unmixed Jewish marriages. The average of 25 per cent. remained constant in Prussia during the war and post-war period, Berlin and Hamburg striking a higher, and Bavaria a lower, percentage. The Austrian and Hungarian figures are in the same proportions, with Vienna and Budapest leading. These figures are, however, exceeded in New South Wales, w which in 1900, had five mixed for every 10 regular marriages. In Denmark, the proportion was 55 per cent., rising to 82-89 per cent. In 1900-05. In Trieste the figures for intermarriage rose in 1927 to 56 out of every 100 Jews and Jewesses married. The British Women's Patriotic League, in 1921, asked for legislation to prevent intermarriage in Great Britain.


A praise or blessing recognizing the Divine presence. It developed into a form of salutation in addressing or referring to persons. "By the grace of God" is the commonest invocation still in use.

Israelitische Allianz Zu Wien

Austro-Hungarian counterpart of the Alliance Israelite Universelle, founded in 1872, in Vienna by Joseph, Ritter von Wertheimer. In the '80s it afforded much relief to the immigrants from Russia. After 1892 its educational work in Galicia was carried on by the Baron de Hirsch Fund. During the World War it cared for 100,000 Galician refugees. The division of the Austrian empire led to the suspension of its activities.



German Jewish term, first used in the 16th cent. to designate the anniversary of a death.


Bible critics use this name to identify the presumed author or editors of those sections of the Pentateuch in which JHWH is used in preference to Elohim. The Higher Critics are, however, not in agreement as to the division of the texts, nor as to the recombination's they trace in what is termed the Priestly document, nor as to the dates at which the writing or editing was done.


One of the permanent choir groups in the ancient Temple service (I Chron. xvi. 41-2). Three Psalms xxxix., 1xii., and 1xxvii., are titled "for Jeduthun."


Symbolic name for Israel, used in Deut. and Isa.


As applied to the adherents of the worship of the One God, this designation is first used in the Book of Esther.

"Jew, The":

Title of the first Jewish periodical published in the United States. It was a monthly, and appeared in New York, March, 1823 to March, 1825.

"Jewish Chronicle, The":

Oldest Anglo-Jewish weekly, published in London, England. Its first issue is dated Nov. 12, 1841. Its editors in succession have been D. Meldola, M. L.H. Bresslau, A Benisch, Michael Henry, Asher I. Myers., Leopold J. Greenberg, and the present editor, J.M. Rich. The "Jewish Chronicle" has from its inception taken the whole Jewish world under review, and has always specialized in the volume of its news. It is regarded as preeminent in its field, and is the acknowledged leading Jewish weekly in the world.

"Jewish Daily Bulletin":

Established in New York in 1924. The only daily newspaper devoted to news of Jewish interest which it receives by cable and telegraph, through the service of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. Presents in brief and concise form a daily picture of Jewish life in every part of the world. President and Managing Director, Jacob Landau; Editor, Herman Bernstein.

"Jewish Forum":

Literary monthly, began publication February 1918 under the editorship of Prof. Solomon T.H. Hurwitz. After his death (January, 1920), Isaac Rosengarten assumed the editorship together with a staff of well-known Sabbath-observing Semitic scholars. Among the books it published are Marcus Lehmann's "Akiba" and Nima H. Adlerblum's "A Perspective of Jewish Life Through Its Festivals," besides numerous pamphlets. Conspicuous among its activities has been its sponsoring of the movement in this country for the defense of the Sabbath against the proposed calendar reform, which had a telling influence on the decision of the International Conference on Calendar Reform at Geneva.

Jewish Institute of Religion:

Founded by Dr. Stephen S. Wise in 1922, for the purpose of preparing students for the Jewish ministry without being marked by any partisan stamp. Its faculty including some of the foremost Jewish scholars, is composed of men of different points of view and varied approaches to Jewish studies. Its classrooms and library are located in the Free Synagogue House, New York. The Institute has (1933) some 60 graduates serving congregations and educational and social institutions throughout the land. Its 11th year began with a
registration of 40 students.

The minimum term of study for regular students is four years. At the Institute is a graduate school, applicants for admission are required to have the degree of Bachelor of Arts or its equivalent from a college of recognized standing, in addition to a working knowledge of Hebrew. Students who have completed the course receive the degree of Master of Hebrew
Literature and Rabbi. No tuition fees are charged but students are expected to maintain themselves during their course of study. Nine scholarships are available to especially qualified students. The Department of Field Activities assists students and graduates in obtaining places. The Jewish Institute Press has issued about a dozen volumes, its most ambitious work to date being the publication of the eight parts of the "Lexicon of the Greek
Josephus" by St. John Thackeray which is being completed by Dr. Ralph Marcus, dean of the faculty. The administrative affairs of the Institute are managed by a Board of Trustees of which the Hon. Julian W. Mack is chairman.

Jewish Publication Society of America:

Organized in Philadelphia in 1888 for the purpose of publishing and disseminating the best available literature of Jewish interest in English. Its translation of the Bible was mooted in 1892, but it was not until 1908, when the Society joined with the Central Conference of American Rabbis in organizing a board of editors, that real progress was made with the undertaking, and the translation published in 1917. It has published to date 120 books, of which 1,500,000 copies have been circulated. Its most notable issues, apart from the Bible, are Graetz' History of the Jews," Ginzberg's "Legends," and several of Israel Zangwill's novels. It publishes the American Jewish Year Book. Its present officers are: President, Simon Miller; First Vice-President, Adolph S. Ochs; Second Vice-President, Horace Stern; Treasurer, Lionel Friedmann; Secretary, Julius Grodinsky; Editor, Isaac Husik.

Jewish Quarterly Review:

Devoted to Jewish theology, literature, and history. Founded in London, in 1888, and edited by Dr. Claude G. Montefiore and Israel Abrahams. Transferred to the United States in 1910, and published in Philadelphia, under the editorship of Dr. Cyrus Adler.

Jewish Science, Society of:

Founded in New York in 1922, by Rabbi Morris Lichtenstein. Its primary purpose is to prevent the Jew from turning to Christian Science which, in the last two decades has lured thousands from the Jewish fold. By teaching Jewish people that spiritual help can be sought and found in Judaism, Jewish Science has, since its founding, reclaimed many hundreds of Jewish families who had previously turned to Christian Science, and has kept countless others from this conversion to Christianity. Rabbi Lichtenstein has set forth the doctrines of Jewish Science in the following volumes: "Jewish Science and Health," "Peace of Mind," and "How to Live." The organ of the Society of Jewish Science is the monthly publication, "The Jewish Science Interpreter."

Jewish Telegraphic Agency:

International Jewish news service established in 1917. Has offices in New York, London, Paris, Berlin, Warsaw, and Jerusalem, and correspondents in all centers with a large Jewish population. Supplies news affecting the Jews to the general press throughout the world. President and Managing Director, Jacob Landau.

Jewish War Veterans of the U.S.

Formed in 1923, at a convention in New York, through the amalgamation of all then existing organizations of Jewish War Veterans. These included the Hebrew Union Veterans Association, formed in 1895 of Civil War Veterans, and the Jewish Veterans of the Wars of the Republic, including Spanish-American War and World War Veterans. Only veterans are eligible for membership.

The aims of the Jewish War Veterans are: "to maintain true allegiance to the United States of uphold the fair name of the Jew and to fight his battles wherever he is unjustly assist such comrades and their families as may be in need of gather and preserve the records of patriotic service performed by men of our honor the memory and to shield from neglect the graves of our heroic dead."

There are sixty local posts, five state departments and a national headquarters in New York. "The Jewish Veteran," a monthly magazine is sent to all members. National encampments are held annually. Past commanders-in-chief include: Hon. Julius S. Berg, M.J. Mendelsohn and George Fredman, President National Officers are: Commander-in-Chief, William Berman; Harry I. Jacobs, George E. Kath, Sol Rubin, Dr. Isaac Stalberg, Harry Raymond, Rabbi Solomon A. Fineberg, Maxwell Cohen, Samuel B. Mannos, Jacob Reitzfeld, Milton Solomon, Harry C. Mamber, Dr. Ivy Pelzman, Al Lewis and Edward Lieberman.


Formerly applied to districts or neighborhoods in which Jews resided. Now used to describe the Jewish people, or any part of it.

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Website: The History
Article Name: Jewish Knowledge A-Z  Ltrs. I-J
Researcher/Transcriber Miriam Medina


BIBLIOGRAPHY: From my collection of Books: The Encyclopedia of Jewish Knowledge In One Volume, Edited by Jacob De Haas; in collaboration with more than 150 scholars and specialists. Behrman's Jewish Book House New York, 1934.
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