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The University of Southampton
Special Collections

MS 318 Papers of Rabbi Harold Reinhart relating to his work in the USA

Rabbi Harold Reinhart

Rabbi Harold Frederic Reinhart was born in Portland, Oregon, in 1891. He studied at the Hebrew Union College, Cincinatti, and was ordained in 1915. Reinhart served congregations in Gary, Indiana, Baton Rouge, Los Angeles and Sacramento, California, coming to England to the West London Synagogue in 1929. For twenty-eight years his ministry had a profound impact on the congregation and community as a whole. It ended in 1957 when a widening rift between Reinhart and the majority of the synagogue led to his resignation, together with that of his assistant ministers, three wardens and those members of the synagogue who supported his ideas. Out of this party, the Westminster Synagogue was founded. Reinhart was also active in the Jewish Peace Society and the National Peace Council. He died on 17 August 1969.

About the collection 

Papers relate to Reinhart’s life and work in Ameriica: Reinhart’s thesis, items relating to the synagogue, teaching and theology, 1922-8, including papers about the novel Elmer Gantry by Sinclair Lewis and concerning the use of the Bible in public schools. There are prayers, poems and orders of service as well as notes and newspaper cuttings concerning issue such as spiritual matters, literature, happiness, culture and Americanism and the Jew, 1916-27; and plays, songs and prose including We Moderns by Israel Zangwill and many relating to Purim.

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4 boxes


Papers concerning his life and work in the United Kingdom can be found in collection MS 171



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