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Steven S. Schwarzschild Collection

 Collection
Identifier: AR 25376

Scope and Content Note

The Steven Schwarzschild Collection documents professional activities of Steven Schwarzschild, researcher, philosopher, rabbi and teacher. It also documents (to a much smaller degree) the personal lives of Steven Schwarzschild and his wife Lily.

The collection includes brochures, booklets, clippings, correspondence, notes, off prints, photographs, printed materials, and writings.

Documents comprising the collection shed light on Steven Schwarzschild’s education, and reflect various aspects of Steven Schwarzschild’s involvement with Judaism, as leader of Jewish congregation in Fargo, North Dakota and Lynn, Massachusetts; his academic career, research and writings in the fields of philosophy and theology.

There is a very small amount of personal materials pertaining to Steven and Lily Schwarzschild and practically no materials dealing with other members of the Schwarzschild family. The bulk of personal materials includes documents pertaining to Lily Schwarzschild’s investments, pension, and medical bills.

At the same time, some personal correspondence is found in Series II: Professional, Subseries 3: Topical.

Additionally, there are some photographs of Steven Schwarzschild and friends.

The larger portion of the collection consists of teaching and research materials. In many cases teaching materials are grouped together topically and consist of notes, student writings, printed materials, and sometimes correspondence and Rabbi Schwarzschild’s writings. Teaching materials allow us to see what themes and topics Doctor Schwarzschild was interested in teaching and researching. These topics include humanism and ethics, philosophy of Moses Maimonides and its impact on the Jewish philosophical and religious thought, Enlightenment, Jewish philosophers, socialism and political philosophy.

Thanks to a number of his school writings, it is clear that Steven Schwarzschild became interested in the above mentioned topics very early in his academic career and was able to build on that later on.

Other materials documenting his education include report cards, transcripts, photographs, syllabi, and congratulatory messages.

Teaching-related materials include a small amount of materials such as class rosters, syllabi, grading materials, reading lists, and correspondence with researchers and students.

However, Steven Schwarzschild’s academic writings are at the core of the collection cementing Rabbi Schwarzschild’s place among the leading Jewish thinkers of the twentieth century.

Manuscripts collected here vary in forms, ranging from short essays, sermons, and articles to academic works of a much larger scale.

Steven Schwarzschild’s writings as well as writings by other authors cover topics such as ethics, Jewish philosophy and prominent Jewish personalities, Jewish lingua, and religious writings.

There are a couple of writings that cover topics outside of Steven Schwarzschild’s immediate academic interests: there are manuscripts on lying, Mozart, and integral calculus.

Whereas the majority of the writings collected here are copies of published work, there is a small number of unpublished manuscripts, both by Steven Schwarzschild and other authors.

Some of the manuscripts collected here also include corrections, notes, and annotations.

In many cases the writings are accompanied by supplementary materials such as notes, correspondence, and printed materials.

There is a small amount of correspondence that, nonetheless, includes correspondence with prominent Jewish philosophers and religious and communal leaders of the 20th century, including Leo Baeck, Erich Fromm, and Simon Ernst. Also collected here is correspondence with academic, cultural, and religious organizations. Additionally, there is a small amount of correspondence regarding the Holocaust and correspondence with Holocaust survivors.

Steven Schwarzschild’s rabbinical work is documented by a limited amount of materials dealing with his service as a rabbi in Berlin between 1948 and 1950 and materials pertaining to his work with Temple Beth El in Fargo, North Dakota and Temple Beth El in Lynn, Massachusetts. These materials include newsletters and announcements, correspondence, and rabbinical records including death, birth, conversion, and marriage records.

Dates

  • 1903-2000
  • Majority of material found within 1945-1989

Creator

Language of Materials

The collection is in English and German with some Hebrew, Yiddish and French.

Access Restrictions

Open to researchers.

Access Information

Collection is digitized. Follow the links in the Container List to access the digitized materials.

Biographical Note

Steven Schwarzschild, rabbi, scholar, and editor, was born in 1924 in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. His family escaped from the Nazi Germany and settled in the United States in 1939.

After receiving ordination from Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati in 1948, Steven Schwarzschild moved to Berlin to serve as a rabbi for the Jűdische Gemeinde zu Berlin. He stayed in Berlin for over two years and in 1950 moved back to the United States. He settled in Fargo, North Dakota, where he served as rabbi for Temple Beth El. In the late 1950s, Steven Schwarzschild moved again, to become rabbi at Temple Beth El in Lynn, Massachusetts.

In 1961, he became an editor of the quarterly journal Judaism. He resigned from his position in 1969 in a protest against a lack of independence that he had in his position as an editor.

In 1965, Rabbi Schwarzschild became a Professor of Philosophy and Judaic Studies at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. He taught and wrote on a variety of topics including ethics, Judaism, Jewish personalities, socialism, and aesthetics. In his academic work and research he was most influenced by Hermann Cohen, Immanuel Kant and Moses Maimonides.

Steven Schwarzschild was also involved in social movements as well as in interfaith dialogues, most notably with the Protestant theologian John Howard Yoder and the American Catholic monk and writer Thomas Merton.

Steven Schwarzschild died in 1989.

Extent

23 Linear Feet

Abstract

The Steven Schwarzschild Collection documents professional activities of Steven S. Schwarzschild, researcher, philosopher, rabbi and teacher. It also documents (to a much smaller degree) the personal lives of Steven Schwarzschild and his wife Lily. The collection includes brochures, booklets, clippings, correspondence, notes, off prints, photographs, printed materials, and writings. Documents comprising the collection shed light on Steven Schwarzschild’s education, and reflect various aspects of Steven Schwarzschild’s involvement with Judaism, as leader of Jewish congregations in Fargo, North Dakota and Lynn, Massachusetts; his academic career, research and writings in the fields of philosophy and theology.

Separated Material

Books were removed to the LBI Library
Title
Guide to the Papers of Steven S. Schwarzschild (1924-1989) 1903-2000 bulk 1945-1989 AR 25376
Status
In Progress
Author
Processed by Yakov Illich Sklar
Date
© 2012
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin
Language of description note
Description is in English.
Sponsor
Made possible by the Cataloging Hidden Special Collections and Archives Grant from the Council on Library and Information Resources through The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to support "Illuminating Hidden Collections at the Center for Jewish History"

Revision Statements

  • July 19, 2013 : Links to digital objects added in Container List.

Repository Details

Part of the Leo Baeck Institute Repository

Contact:
15 West 16th Street
New York NY 10011 United States