Rabbi Arthur J. Lelyveld (February 6, 1913 - April 15, 1996) was a rabbi within the movement of Reform Judaism. As well as being a prominent rabbi he also embraced social activism in many forms.
After marrying Toby Bookholtz - an actress and scholar of Shakespeare - he moved to live in Omaha, Nebraska, where he led a congregation, before moving to New York, where he took on organizational rabbinic roles, including heading up the national Hillel organization. He served as Rabbi in Cincinnati for a time. He also served as president of the Zionist Organization of America from 1944.
From 1958 until 1986, he served as rabbi of Fairmount Temple in the Cleveland suburb of Beachwood, Ohio. Rabbi Lelyveld was president of the American Jewish Congress, a 50,000-member organization, from 1966 to 1972. He served as president of the Central Conference of American Rabbis, and of the Synagogue Council of America.
Unusually, in the Reform movement, he voiced his support for the recognition of the State of Israel in 1946, lobbying Harry S Truman to that end. He was also active in attempts to create harmonious relations between Jews and blacks in the United States. He was active in the registration of black voters in the South during the 1960s. During the Freedom Summer of 1964 he suffered a concussion when he was beaten with a tire iron by segregationists in Hattiesburg, Mississippi.
During the Second World War Lelyveld was a pacifist and conscientious objector, though he did propose sending a Jewish relief force to Europe. He headed the Jewish Peace Fellowship a coalition - formed in 1941 - of a number of groups of Jewish antiwar activists.
Lelyveld retired from the rabbinate in 1986 and died 10 years later.
He had four children. A son Joseph Lelyveld was the executive editor of the New York Times, and won a Pulitzer Prize for journalism. His son David Lelyveld is an authority on the frontier tribes of South Asia and is Professor of History at William Patterson University. Another son, Michael S. Lelyveld consults on Russian and Caspian energy. His daughter, Robin Lelyveld is a psychologist. His second marriage, to Teela Stovsky, lasted 35 years.
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- Review of Omaha Blues: A Memory Loop, Bob Jacobson, 2005.
- "Temple History," Anshe Chesed Fairmount Temple, 2007. Retrieved 17 June 2007
- Britannica Yearbook 1997, obit.
- The Scoop of His Life, Stephen J. Dubner, New York Magazine, February 2006
- Review of "Omaha Blues", Cynthia Ozick, New York Times, April 3, 2005.
- Exhibit captures Freedom Summer of '64, Joseph Tkacik, The Colonade, 12/6/02.
- L'Chaim to Life - a history of the Jewish Peace Fellowship, Isador B. Hoffman.
- A study of the Tanya of Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Ladi. AJ Lelyveld, Hebrew Union College, 1939.
- The Virtues of Uncertainty, A Lelyveld, Journal of Higher Education, 1950.
- Religion in Higher Education, A Lelyveld, Journal of Higher Education, 1952.
- A Collection of Chapel Sermons, A Lelyveld, Journal of Higher Education, 1956.
- Atheism Is Dead: A Jewish Response to Radical Theology, A Lelyveld, The World Publishing Company, 1968.
- Punishment: For and against, A Lelyveld, New York: Hart, 1971.
- The Virtues of Uncertainty: The Role of the University in Training for Social Welfare, A Lelyveld, Journal of Higher Education, 1979.
- The unity of the contraries: paradox as a characteristic of normative Jewish thought, AJ Lelyveld, Syracuse University, 1984.
Further reading 
- Omaha Blues: A Memory Loop, Joseph Lelyveld, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2005.