Friday, December 1, Rabbi James Rudin will speak on

It was Complicated: The FDR-Rabbi Stephen Wise Relationship During the Holocaust 

Join us on Erev Shabbat, Friday, December 1, 6:00 pm, as we welcome home Rabbi James Rudin. Rabbi Rudin will speak on the relationship between President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Rabbi Stephen Wise during World War II. His remarks on December 1 will be based on his most recently published book, “Pillars of Fire: A Biography of Stephen S. Wise.”   


In the book, Rabbi Rudin reveal the complex and controversial personal relationship between Rabbi Wise and President Roosevelt. It was a time of extreme urgency – which Rabbi Wise felt intensely – when millions of lives hung in the balance during the Holocaust. In addition, the book describes how Wise (founder of the Jewish Institute of Religion) expended extraordinary energy in the realm of social justice and human rights. His work permanently influenced the course of American Jewish history.


Rabbi Rudin was ordained in 1960 by Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. He served as assistant rabbi here at B’nai Jehudah 1962-64. In addition, her served a congregation in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois and was a United States Air Force Chaplain stationed in Japan and Korea. However, his greatest contributions to the Jewish people came in his career as a member of the American Jewish Committee senior professional staff in 1968, where he served as director of the Interreligious Affairs Department. He is currently the AJC’s senior interreligious adviser and a member of the organization’s board of governors. He holds honorary doctorates from Saint Leo University, Saint Martin’s University, and HUC-JIR. Rabbi Rudin is distinguished visiting professor of religion and Judaica at Saint Leo University and is the author or editor of 17 books.  

If you would like to pre-purchase Rabbi Rudin’s book, Pillar of Fire, for him to autograph on December 1, there are two ways:

1. You may purchase it on smile.amazon.com. Just CLICK HERE to do so. (Be sure to designate B’nai Jehudah as your charity. See article above) 2. We have a number of copies in our office you can reserve or pick up in advance. Each copy costs $29.05 (same price as on Amazon). Just CLICK HERE to reserve your copy and we will bill you for the cost of the book. Then either pick in up now or on December 1 for Rabbi Rudin to sign. 


We are grateful to the Pearl and Irvin Atlas Memorial Lecture Fund for underwriting Rabbi Rudin’s visit.