Felix Adler, founder NY Society for Ethical Culture

Felix Adler (1851 – 1933) was a professor of political and social ethics, rationalist, influential lecturer on euthanasia, religious leader and social reformer who founded the Ethical Culture movement. Born in Germany, his family immigrated to the United States when he was 6 years old. He studied at Columbia University and continued his education at Heidelberg University in Germany. There he was strongly influenced by neo-Kantianism, especially the notions that one cannot prove or disprove the existence of a deity or immortality, and that morality can be established independently of theology. After realizing being a rabbi was not for him, he entered academia, teaching at Cornell University. In 1876 , he gave a lecture on doing away… Read More

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Jacob Schiff, philanthropist

Jacob Henry Schiff (born Jakob Heinrich Schiff; 1847 – 1920) was a Jewish-American banker, businessman, and philanthropist. Among many other things, he helped finance the expansion of American railroads. He was born in Germany and migrated to the United States after the American Civil War and joined the firm Kuhn, Loeb & Co on Wall street. He became a naturalized citizen of the United States in September 1870 Mr. Schiff was the most well known and influential Jewish leader from 1880 to 1920 in what later became known as the “Schiff era”, grappling with all major Jewish issues and problems of the day, including the plight of Russian Jews under the Tsar, American and… Read More

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Alexander Sender Jarmulowsky, founder bank and synagogue

Alexander Sender Jarmulowsky (1841-1912) was born in Russia, in an area that is now part of Poland and moved to the United States in 1873. He rose from being a penniless orphan at age 3 to becoming a Talmud prodigy to ending his life as a wealthy Lower East Side banker and “macher.” Mr. Jarmulowsky bought steam ship tickets in bulk and sold them to other immigrants at a reduced price prior to his family moving from Germany to the United States. Once in NYC, he opened an office at 54 Canal Street, an immigrant “bank” that provided a place for… Read More

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