Wise, Stephen S. (ON HOLD)

1948 US Four Chaplains stamp First Day Cover signed by the eminent rabbi, leading American Jewish spokesman

Price: $95.00

Description:
(1874-1949) Hungarian-born rabbi, to US 1875. NYC rabbi 1893-1900, served in Portland, Oregon 1900-06. Founded New York City's Free Synagogue 1907, its rabbi 1907-49. He was a leader in the Reform Judaism movement, a founder of the Zionist Organization of America 1898, its president 1917 & 1936-38. An early supporter of Zionism, he was an 1897 founder of the New York Federation of Zionist Societies which led to the formation of the Federation of American Zionists (FAZ), forerunner of the Zionist Organization of America. At the 1898 Second Zionist Congress in Basel, he was a delegate and secretary for the English language. Wise served as honorary secretary of FAZ, in close cooperation with Theodor Herzl until the latter's 1904 death. In 1914 Wise co-founded the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). In 1922 he founded the Jewish Institute of Religion in New York City to train Reform Judaism rabbis; it was merged into the Hebrew Union College a year after his death. He was a close friend of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who turned to Wise for advice on issues concerning the US Jewish community; Wise had also acted as a "liaison" to President Wilson. With the rise of Hitler in Germany, Wise believed US public opinion should be rallied against the Nazis. He used his influence with FDR in this area as well as on the Zionist question. In 1933 while honorary president of the American Jewish Congress, Wise led efforts for a Jewish boycott of Germany. Urged by Wise to protest to the German government, Secretary of State Hull issued a mild statement to the US Ambassador in Berlin. Wise helped encourage the August 1936 creation of the World Jewish Congress to create a broader representative body to fight Nazism. He served as founding president of the World Jewish Congress until his death in 1949. On Nov. 24, 1942, after being informed by Under-Secretary of State Sumner Welles, Wise held a press conference in Washington to announce that the Nazis had a plan to exterminate all European Jews, and had already killed 2 million; unfortunately, it did not get much notice. During the war years, he was elected co-chair of the American Zionist Emergency Council, a forerunner of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). The Stephen Wise Free Synagogue, which he founded in 1907 and served as rabbi until his death, is named after him. 3 3/4 x 6 1/2 1948 US "Four Chaplains" stamp cacheted, type addressed First Day Cover, postmarked Washington, May 28 1948, "First Day of Issue", signed in green ink by Rabbi Wise. The "Four Chaplains" were 4 US Army chaplains who gave their lives to save other civilian and military personnel as their torpedoed troop ship, USAT Dorchester, sank on Feb. 3, 1943. They helped other soldiers board lifeboats and gave up their own life jackets when the supply ran out. They joined arms, said prayers, and sang hymns as they went down with the ship. The relatively new chaplains, all first lieutenants, included Methodist minister Rev. George L. Fox, Reform Rabbi Alexander D. Goode, Roman Catholic priest Rev. John P. Washington, and Reformed Church in America minister Rev. Clark V. Poling. They were honored with a 1948 US postage stamp which was highly unusual, because until 2011, US stamps were not issued in honor of someone other than a US president until at least 10 years after his death. None of the names of the chaplains were included on the stamp, nor were their faiths. Instead, the words on the stamp were "These Immortal Chaplains....Interfaith in Action." By the omission of their names, the stamp commemorated the event, rather than the individuals per se, thus obfuscating the ten-year rule. Very good association item!

Condition: Very good
Type:First Day Cover






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