Guide to the Papers of Joshua Loth Liebman (1907-1948), 1940-1947

Reprocessed by Stephanie Call

Jewish Heritage Center at NEHGS

99-101 Newbury St.

Boston, MA 02116



© 2019  Jewish Heritage Center at NEHGS, Boston, MA. All Rights Reserved.
Machine-readable finding aid created by Stephanie Call as MS Word document, March 24, 2009. Finding aid was encoded by Marvin Rusinek on August 4, 2009. Description is in English.

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Joshua Loth Liebman
Title: Joshua Loth Liebman, papers
Abstract: This collection contains speeches and lectures in both draft and final form.
Languages: The collection is in English.
Quantity: .5 linear feet (1 manuscript box)
Identification: P-636
Repository: Jewish Heritage Center at NEHGS
Location: Located in Boston, MA.
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Biographical Note1

Joshua Loth Liebman (1907-1948)

Joshua Loth Liebman was born in Hamilton, Ohio, on April 7, 1907, to Simon and Sabina (Loth) Liebman. After earning his A.B. from the University of Cincinnati in 1926, Liebman studied at Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, and was ordained as a Rabbi in 1930. A scholar and committed Zionist, Rabbi Liebman was also the author of Peace of Mind (1946) as well as a radio commentator on Jewish issues.

In 1939, Rabbi Liebman became the Rabbi of Temple Israel in Boston, and quickly reformed the synagogue's operations. There were no more Sunday services, and Friday night services and Bar Mitzvahs were reinstated. Hebrew was also introduced into services. Rabbi Liebman's focus was on bringing the Jewish people together around Judaism, especially important during the events of World War II.

In addition to Peace of Mind, Rabbi Liebman was also the author of The Religious Philosophy of Aaron Ben Elijah (1939), Hod and the World Crisis- Can we Still Believe in Providence (1941), and Teleology and Attributes in the Philosophy of Maimonides from the Hebrew (1943). He was also a contributer to various magazines and radio shows.

His sudden death on June 9, 1948 sent shock waves throughout the Jewish community. Numerous tributes and memorials were established in his name, but his contributions to the Reform movement remain his legacy.

1 Biographical information on Rabbi Liebman compiled from the following sources: Who Was Who in America, Volume II (1943-1950). Chicago: The A.N. Marquis Company, 1950. The Jews of Boston. Ed. Jonathan D. Sarna and Ellen Smith. Boston: Combined Jewish Philanthropies.


1907JLL born in Hamilton, Ohio on April 7
1926Graduates from University of Cincinnati (A.B.)
1926-1929Lecturer in Greek philosophy and Taft Teaching fellow
1928Marries Fan Loth on July 4
1928-1930Student at Hebrew Union College in Palestine, Harvard University and Columbia University
1930Ordained as Rabbi after graduating from Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati
1930Earns Doctorate of Hebrew Letters
1930Receives Simon Lazarus Prize for highest academic honors and Youngerman prize for outstanding sermon at Hebrew Union College
1930-1934Simon Traveling Fellowship in Philosophy
1930-1939National radio preacher on NBC and ABC
1939-1941Member of Executive Board of Central Conference of American Rabbis
1942-1945Member of Committee on Army and Navy Religious Activities
1945Charles W. Eliot lecturer, Jewish Institute of Religion
1946Samuel Harris lecturer, Bangor Theological Seminary
1947Receives Distinguished Service Medal of Phi Beta Kappa
1948Earns honorary Doctorate from Colby College
1948Dies on June 9
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Scope and Content Note

This collection contains multiple radio addresses and speeches made by Rabbi Liebman on a variety of topics between 1940 and 1947. His topics included Zionism, Judaism, Dr. Chaim Weitzman, Rabbi Stephen Wise, United States Supreme Court Justices Louis Brandeis and Benjamin Cardozo, as well as matters relating to the positive impact of religion on mind and spirit. The papers are in good condition, and many have draft formats included.

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The collection is arranged into a single series.

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Access and Use

Access Restrictions

The collection is open to all researchers by permission of the Director of Collections and Engagement of the American Jewish Historical Society, except items that are restricted due to their fragility.

Use Restrictions

Information concerning the literary rights may be obtained from the Director of Library and Archives of the American Jewish Historical Society. Users must apply in writing for permission to quote, reproduce or otherwise publish manuscript materials found in this collection. For more information contact:
American Jewish Historical Society, Center for Jewish History, 15 West 16th Street, New York, NY, 10011

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Related Material

Jewish Community Relations Council, I-123
Harold and Romayne Goldberg Papers, P-861
Wyner Family Papers, P-803
Massachusetts Board of Rabbis, I-56
Taylor-Tatelbaum Family Papers, P-213

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Preferred Citation

Published citations should take the following form:
Identification of item, date (if known); Joshua Loth Liebman, papers; P-636; box number; folder number; Jewish Heritage Center at NEHGS.

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Acquisition Information

Acquisition information is unknown.

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Access Points

Click on a subject to search that term in the Center's catalog. Return to the Top of Page

Container List

The following section contains a detailed listing of the materials in the collection.

Click the box in the request column to learn more about viewing materials at the Jewish Heritage Center at NEHGS.


Papers of Joshua Loth Liebman, 1940-1947

Box 1.
Scope and Content:

See Scope and Content Note.

1 1-7 Radio Speeches and Addresses 1940-1947 request_box
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