Kindler of Souls: Rabbi Henry Cohen of Texas

Front Cover
University of Texas Press, Feb 17, 2009 - Biography & Autobiography
0 Reviews

In September 1930, the New York Times published a list of the clergy whom Rabbi Stephen Wise considered "the ten foremost religious leaders in this country." The list included nine Christians and Rabbi Henry Cohen of Galveston, Texas. Little-known today, Henry Cohen was a rabbi to be reckoned with, a man Woodrow Wilson called "the foremost citizen of Texas" who also impressed the likes of William Howard Taft and Clarence Darrow. Cohen's fleeting fame, however, was built not on powerful friendships but on a lifetime of service to needy Jews—as well as gentiles—in London, South Africa, Jamaica, and, for the last sixty-four years of his life, Galveston, Texas.

More than 10,000 Jews, mostly from Eastern Europe, arrived in Galveston in the early twentieth century. Rabbi Cohen greeted many of the new arrivals in Yiddish, then helped them find jobs through a network that extended throughout the Southwest and Midwest United States. The "Galveston Movement," along with Cohen's pioneering work reforming Texas prisons and fighting the Ku Klux Klan, made the rabbi a legend in his time. As this portrait shows, however, he was also a lovable mensch to his grandson. Rabbi Henry Cohen II reminisces about his grandfather's jokes while placing the legendary rabbi in historical context, creating the best picture yet of this important Texan, a man perhaps best summarized by Rabbi Wise in the New York Times as "a soul who touches and kindles souls."

 

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Contents

From Torah to Tennyson
1
Being Jewish in Jamaica
11
Little Jerusalem
19
Planting Roots
27
The Storm and Its Impact
39
From Health to Horror
47
Through the Gateway of Galveston
57
Dear Graduates On Being a Rabbi
67
Prison Reform The Rabbi and the Convict
87
Family Matters and Memory 19301950
97
The Rabbi and His Times
113
Selected Poems
123
Notes
129
Glossary
137
Bibliography
143
Index
147

From the Kaiser to the Klan
79

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2009)

HENRY COHEN II, grandson of Rabbi Henry Cohen, is a rabbi, an author, and an activist. He lives in Wynnewood, Pennsylvania.

Bibliographic information