Magnes, Judah Leon

Magnes, Judah Leon

biographical name

(born July 5, 1877, San Francisco, Calif., U.S.—died Oct. 27, 1948, New York, N.Y.) U.S.-born Israeli educator and religious leader. Ordained as a rabbi in 1900, he earned a doctorate at the University of Heidelberg in 1902. Serving as rabbi for three congregations in New York, he moved from Reform to Orthodox Judaism and became a Zionist. He drifted away from Zionism during World War I, preferring relief efforts for Jews in Palestine over political activism. After the war he became the principal founder and first president (1935–48) of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, working to advance Arab-Jewish reconciliation and advocating a binational Arab-Jewish state.

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