People A-Z / Rabbi Isaac Klein
Rabbi Isaac Klein (1905-1979) was born in a village in Czechoslovakia on September 8, 1905. He migrated to the United States in 1920. Studying at the Elchanan Yeshiva (now part of Yeshiva University) he earned a bachelor’s degree from the City College of New York. As he was nearing ordination at the Yeshiva he transferred to the Jewish Theological Seminary of America where he was ordained in 1934. Previously, in 1932, he had married Henriette Levin and together they had three children. Rabbi Klein’s first pulpit was Kodimoh Congregation, Springfield, Massachusetts, where he served until 1953 except for government service. From 1950 to 1951, he was appointed by President Truman to direct Jewish religious affairs in the American occupied sector of Germany. During his Springfield years, Rabbi Klein he received a Ph.D. in 1948 from Harvard University under the sponsorship of the late Professor Harry B. Wolfson, and received full ordination (S’micha) from JTS. In 1953 Rabbi Klein accepted the pulpit of Temple Emanu-el in Buffalo, New York. In 1968, Temple Emanu-el merged with Temple Beth David-Ner Israel to become Temple Shaarey Zedek. Rabbi Klein retired in 1972, teaching in California at the University of Judaism. His manuscript, A Guide to Jewish Religious Practice, was published posthumously. Rabbi-Klein died in Los Angeles on January 23, 1979 and was buried in Buffalo, New York.
Archival Collection at the University Archives, University at Buffalo
- Rabbi Isaac Klein Papers, 1925-1979 (Ms 149)
- Kadimah School of Buffalo Records, 1958-2009 (MS209)
- Kotzin, Chana Revell, Jewish Community of Greater Buffalo, Arcadia, 2013, p. 43
- Online Collection at: Isaac Klein, A Guide to Jewish Religious Practice, Jewish Theological Seminary Press, 1979.
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