Israel Goldstein

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Dr. Israel Goldstein awards the Stephen Wise award to President Yitzhak Ben Zvi at the World Jewish Congress held in 1956 at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem.

Israel Goldstein (June 18, 1896 – 1986) was an American-born Israeli rabbi, author and Zionist leader. He was one of the leading founders of Brandeis University.[1][2]

Early life and education[edit]

Goldstein, born in Philadelphia, was a noteworthy graduate of South Philadelphia High School (SPHS)[3] in 1911. At that time the school program was manual training, but his record showed to school administrators that there was more promise for academics servicing the immigrant population of South Philadelphia.[dubious ] He graduated the school at age 14 and then graduated the University of Pennsylvania three years later at the age of 17.

Career and Zionist activity[edit]

From 1918 until his immigration to Israel in 1960, Israel Goldstein served as the rabbi of Congregation B'nai Jeshurun in New York, the second oldest synagogue in the city.[2] He was head of the New York Board of Rabbis (1928–30), the Jewish National Fund of America (1934-1943), the Zionist Organization of America (1943-1946), and American Jewish Congress (1952-1959), and helped found the National Conference of Christians and Jews.[2]

In 1945, he was a consultant to the U.S. delegation at the Founding Conference of the United Nations in San Francisco.[2]

In 1961-1971, Goldstein was World Chairman of Keren Hayesod-United Israel Appeal. He led Keren Hayesod during a period of expansion and growth, particularly after the Six-Day War.[4]


Israel Goldstein died at Shaare Zedek Hospital in Jerusalem after a long illness.[2]

Published works[edit]

  • Century of Judaism in New York (1930)
  • Towards a Solution (1940)
  • Shanah b’Yisrael (Next Year in Israel; 1950)
  • American Jewry Comes of Age (1955)
  • Brandeis University - Chapter of its Founding
  • Transition Years, New York-Jerusalem, 1960-1962 (1966)
  • Israel at Home and Abroad (1977)
  • My World as a Jew: The Memoirs of Israel Goldstein (1984)[5]

Honors and commemoration[edit]

Dr. Goldstein has been inducted into the SPHS Alumni Cultural Hall of Fame.

In 1947, more than 1,000 acres of Jewish National Fund land situated between Gaza and Lachish were named "Chevel Goldstein" (lit. "Goldstein's region"[6]) in his honor.[7]

The Israel Goldstein Youth Village, whose director he was, is named after him.[2][8] Established in 1949,[9] it is a Zionist youth village in the Katamon neighborhood of Jerusalem.[8]

On his eightieth birthday, Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Rabin and other government and Zionist movement officials gathered at his home to pay him tribute.[8]

The Rabbi Dr. I. Goldstein Synagogue on the Givat Ram campus of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem was built in his honor.[10]

The Israel Goldstein Prize for Distinguished Leadership is the highest honor bestowed by Keren Hayesod. The prize has been awarded annually since 1980, the 60th anniversary of Keren Hayesod.[11]


  1. ^ "Rabbi Israel Goldstein, A Founder of Brandeis", The New York Times, April 13, 1986, p.40
  2. ^ a b c d e f Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Dr. Israel Goldstein Dead at 89, Jerusalem, April 13, 1986 [1]
  3. ^ PA Historical Marker Categories: Education, Ethnic & Immigration, Government & Politics 20th Century, Religion
  4. ^ Goldstein Prize
  5. ^ My World as a Jew: The Memoirs of Israel Goldstein (first ed.). Cornwall Books/Associated University Presses. 1984. ISBN 0845347802. Retrieved 29 July 2016. 
  6. ^ [2]
  7. ^ Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Jewish National Fund Tract in Palestine Named in Honor of Israel Goldstein, Jerusalem, July 24, 1947 [3]
  8. ^ a b c "Israeli Officials Honor Longtime Zionist Leader," The New York Times, June 28, 1976, p. 14
  9. ^ The Israel Goldstein Youth Village official website, About us (Hebrew version) [4]
  10. ^
  11. ^ Israel Goldstein Prize
  • The Central Zionist Archives in Jerusalem site. Office of Israel Goldstein (S57), Personal papers (A364) and his photograph collection (PHIG)