Ephraim Epstein

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Rabbi Ephraim Epstein (1876-1960) was an orthodox rabbi and prominent member of the Jewish community in Chicago in the half-century after his arrival in Chicago in 1911. He is associated with the orthodox strain known as Modern Orthodox Judaism.

Epstein was born in Bakst, Lithuania and trained in yeshiva at Slabodka yeshiva.[1]:19 He arrived in Chicago in 1911 after being asked to serve as rabbi at Congregation Anshei Kneseth, one of the leading Orthodox congregations in the city.[1]:20 He served as rabbi of the congregation for almost 50 years.[1]:20 Epstein was a renowned Talmud scholar.[2]

Epstein rose to prominence in Chicago's orthodox Jewish community through his many activities outside the synagogue. He raised millions of dollars for aid to European yeshivas during and after World War I.[2] In addition, Epstein served as an officer with a number of other Jewish self-help organizations, including the Central Relief Committee of America, Relief Committee of Jewish War sufferers, and the Federation of Orthodox Charities.[1]:20–21

During the World War II, Epstein helped rescue many Jews from Europe.[2]


  1. ^ a b c d Bauman, Mark K., Harry Epstein and the Rabbinate as Conduit for Change (Rutherford, NJ: Farleigh Dickinson University Press, 1994).
  2. ^ a b c Cutler, Irving, The Jews of Chicago, Champaign, Ill.: University of Illinois Press, 1996), p. 215.