The lookstein legacy: An american orthodox rabbinical dynasty?

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)127-149
Number of pages23
JournalJewish History
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1999

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
These words can be applied to virtually all rabbinical dynasties, even when succession is a legal right of birth, s4 but they are a particularly fitting comment on the recipe for success which was followed in the KJ rabbinate. The bond between the synagogue and the Lookstein/Margolies family came into being because of the rabbis' ability to provide for the spiritual and religious needs of their congregation. Despite the deep level of attachment between the Looksteins and KJ cemented by the unique rabbinical model which they developed, had doubts emerged concerning the family's continued capacity to perform their spiritual functions, their "status would have been undermined." NOTES Author's note: I would like to acknowledge and thank the following people who have shared their knowledge and thoughts with me at various stages in the research and preparation of this paper: R. Dr. Haskel Lookstein, Mrs. Gertrude Lookstein (of blessed memory), Dr. Nathalie Friedman, R. Joshua Lookstein, Mr. Robert Leifert, Dr. Noam Shudofsky, R. Adam Mintz, Mr. Irwin Schapiro, R. Dr. Aaron Rakefet, R. Karpol Bender, Professor Gershon Bacon, Professor Moshe Rosman, Professor Albert Baumgarten, Dr. Jenna Weissman Joselit, Dr. Kimmy Caplan, Dr. Jeffrey Woolf, Professor Shlomo Deshen, Professor Charles S. Liebman, Dr. Ya'akov Ezrahi, R. Binny Blau, R. Seth Farber, Mr. Ari A. Ferziger, Mrs. Naomi Ferziger and especially Mr. Jonathan Ferziger, R. Joshua Berman and my first coach, Dr. Jeffrey S. Gurock. Of course, I take full responsibility for the contents. The initial research was funded by the Joseph H. Lookstein Center for Jewish Education in the Diaspora, Bar-llan University. I would like to express my appreciation for the continued assitance and support for my research on the history of the rabbinate by the "Carl and Helen Klein Chair for the History of the European Rabbinate in the Modem Period" and its chairholder, Professor Eric Zimmer. 1. Interview with R. Haskel Look,s tein on July 19, 1995 (henceforth, Interview, HL). 2. For the most extensive, yet by no means exhaustive, bibliography of English works on Orthodox Judaism, see "Towards a Bibliography of Orthodoxy," in Reuven Bulka (ed.), Dimensions of Orthodox Judaism (New York, 1983), 435-64. The collection focuses on American Orthodoxy, between 1965 and 1983 and offers a fine starting point for understanding contemporary American Orthodoxy. Another good collection is Rabbinical Council of America - Jubilee Issue (Jerusalem, 1985). Most recently, see the articles in volume 5 of Jeffrey Gurock's monumental collection of scholarly works on all aspects of American Jewish life, American Jewish History (Routledge, New York and London, 1998), volume 5, part 2. 3. For a late nineteenth-century account of New York's immigrant Orthodox community, see Jonathan Sarna, People Walk On Their Heads (a translation from Hebrew of Rabbi Moses Weinberger's Jews and Judaism in New York), (New York and London, 1981).

Cite this