ADLER, FELIX (1851–1933), U.S. philosopher and educator. Adler was born in Germany, the son of the Reform rabbi Samuel *Adler. He studied at Columbia University and preached as a rabbi at Temple Emanu-el in New York, but was too rationalistic to accept Judaism in any traditional sense. In 1874 he accepted a professorship in Hebrew and Oriental literature established at Cornell. Two years later he founded the Society for Ethical Culture, which advocated an ethic apart from any religion or dogma. The Society gained support mainly among intellectuals in America and abroad. Adler worked for various social causes such as maternal and child welfare, vocational
H. Simonhoff, Saga of American Jewry from 1865–1914 (1959), 178–85; H. Cohen, They Builded Better Than They Knew (1946), 32–40; H. Neumann, Spokesmen for Ethical Religion (1951), 3–62.
[Richard H. Popkin]
Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.