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Menorah Association and Menorah Journal

MENORAH ASSOCIATION AND MENORAH JOURNAL, U.S. Jewish campus organization and periodical. Both grew out of the Harvard Menorah Society, a Jewish campus group formed in 1906 by Henry *Hurwitz, at the time an undergraduate at the university. Influenced by the "new humanism" then being propounded in Cambridge by such figures as William James and George Santayana, the society sought to pursue the study of humanistic values in Judaism and to develop a positive intellectual relationship to Jewish tradition and belief. Similar groups soon formed on other American campuses, and in 1913 an intercollegiate Menorah Association was established which eventually numbered some 80 chapters. The association became largely defunct in the 1930s, but as the first attempt to establish an intercollegiate Jewish body of its kind it helped pave the way for such later organizations as the *B'nai B'rith Hillel societies.

The Menorah Journal, first published in 1915, was similarly dedicated to the promotion of a "Jewish humanism." Appearing bimonthly from 1915 through 1927, monthly from 1928 to 1930, and irregularly thereafter until 1962 for a total of 157 issues in all, it featured articles and fiction by leading Jewish scholars, intellectuals, and writers, and reproductions of contemporary Jewish art. It served for several decades as a center for lively controversy in American Jewish life. The Journal lost much of its prominence in the years after World War II, but like the Menorah Association, it was in many ways the prototype of the successors that displaced it.


L.W. Schwartz (ed.), The Menorah Treasury (1964); H.M. Kallen, in: Menorah Journal, 49 (1962), 9–16; R. Alter, in: Commentary, 39:5 (1965), 51–55.

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