Israel Isidor Mattuck – Architect of Liberal Judaism
by Pam Fox
This biography shows how Israel Isidor Mattuck was probably the most influential figure in the development of the Liberal Jewish Synagogue (LJS) in the UK and the wider Liberal Jewish movement through his involvement with the World Union for Progressive Judaism, which he chaired from its foundation in 1926 until his death in 1954.
His authority was partly the result of his personality and intelligence, but also his thorough Jewish education, which, in England, only Israel Abrahams could equal, together with his first-hand exposure to the American Reform Movement. At the time of his death, Israel Isidor Mattuck was hailed as a 'Jewish Archbishop of Canterbury,' and the magnitude of his achievements is undeniable: he led the LJS and the Liberal Jewish movement through two world wars. He produced prayer books that provided the liturgy for the Liberal Jewish movement for over 40 years. He was one of the prime instigators in setting up the London Society of Jews and Christians, which he co-chaired for many years and which provided the model for the foundation of the Council of Christians and Jews in 1942.
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