Rabbi Sabato Morais

By Ariel Scheib

Rabbi Sabato Morais was born in 1823 in Italy. At the age of twenty-two Morais became the hazzan at the Bevis Marks congregation in London. Only five years later, he moved to the United States to become the hazzan of Mikveh Israel in Philadelphia. He remained at Mikveh Israel for forty-seven years, until his death in 1897.

Morais quickly became a prominent leader in the Conservative Movement in the United States. Together with H. Pereira Mendes, Morais helped found the Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS) in 1886. Morais served as the President of JTS until his death.

Sources: “Sabato Morais (1823-1897).” American Jewish Historical Society, American Jewish Desk Reference, (NY: Random House, 1999) pg. 67.