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Bernard Gerson Richards

RICHARDS, BERNARD GERSON (1877–1971), U.S. journalist, widely active in Jewish affairs. Richards was born in Keidan (Kedziniai), Lithuania, and was taken to the U.S. in 1886. He began his journalistic career as a reporter on the Boston Post, and wrote for several Boston and New York papers, as well as for Yiddish and other Jewish journals, including the American Hebrew and The New Palestine. He also edited the magazine New Era. From 1906 to 1911 Richards served as secretary of the Jewish Community of New York City, an organization designed to further the cause of Judaism, and in 1915 helped found the *American Jewish Congress, of which he was executive director until 1932. At the end of World War I he was a member of the American Jewish delegation to the Versailles Peace Conference. He also founded the Jewish Information Bureau of Greater New York (1932), and the American Jewish Institute, New York (1942) to further adult education. He was director of both these institutions. He was also a member of the Zionist Organization of America, and his revised edition of I. Cohen's The Zionist Movement (1946) included a supplementary chapter of his own on Zionism in the U.S. His other books were The Discourses of Keidansky (1903), and Organizing American Jewry (1947). His papers are in the library of the Jewish Theological Seminary, New York.

Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.