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Eugene Kohn

KOHN, EUGENE (1887–1977), U.S. Reconstructionist rabbi and editor. Kohn, who was born in Newark, New Jersey, earned his B.A. from New York University (1907) and was ordained by the Jewish Theological Seminary in 1912. He occupied pulpits, perhaps not quite successfully, in Baltimore, Maryland (1912–18); Perth Amboy, New Jersey (1921–23); Milwaukee, Wisconsin (1923–26); Youngstown, Ohio (1926–29); Bayonne, New Jersey (1929–34); and St. Albans, New York (1936–39); and served on the staff of Young Judea. Associated with the Reconstructionist movement from its inception, he played an important role in its development as the first managing editor of its magazine Reconstructionist from 1938 until his retirement in 1963. During the 1930s and 1940s, The Resonstructionist attracted some of the leading religious thinkers of the era; it was provocative, stimulating, and quite controversial. Kohn also edited the Reconstructionist Press, as resident administrator and ideologist. He edited Shir Ḥadash (1939), a book of readings and prayers; The New Haggadah (1941); The Reconstructionist Prayer Book (1948; with M.M. Kaplan and I. Eisenstein); Faith of America (1951), a book of readings for the celebration of American holidays (with M. M. Kaplan and Paul Williams); American JewryThe Tercentennary and After (1955); and co-edited Mordecai M. Kaplan: An Evaluation (1952). Kohn wrote: A Manual for Teaching Biblical History (1917); The Future of Judaism in America (1934); Religion and Humanity (1953); and Good to be a Jew (1959). He also wrote The Future of Judaism in America (1934) and Religious Humanism (1953), which was a staunch defense of Reconstructionism.

Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2007 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.