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Jacob M. Rothschild papers

Identifier: Manuscript Collection No. 637

Scope and Content Note

The Jacob M. Rothschild papers, made up of correspondence, writings, clippings, printed and audiovisual materials, and memorabilia, are mainly within the period 1942-1973, although there are materials dating from 1933 concerning his education as well as items created after his death in 1973.

Series 1, Personal papers (1933-1946), offers information and perspectives on Rothschild's life before he arrived in Atlanta. The letters Rothschild wrote to his family during his military service in the Pacific (1942-1943) stand out as the most significant portion of this personal papers series.

Rothschild's in-coming and out-going correspondence during his tenure as rabbi of Atlanta's leading reformed congregation is found in Series 2, Correspondence (1946-1973), and contains remarkably complete exchanges between the rabbi and individuals involved in a number of different areas. The correspondence series documents Rothschild's involvement in a variety of activities including the civil rights movement, political events and social issues in Atlanta and Georgia, religious concerns among Reform Jews, and in Jewish/ Christian relations. Selective name and topic indexes to the correspondence in Series 2 are filed separately from this description and are available upon request.

Second only to the correspondence series, the texts and notes for Rothschild's sermons and articles contained in Series 3, Writings (1947-1973), afford a rich source for an examination of the thoughts and expressions of a man involved with various social and political events of his time. Dated 1946-1973, the newspaper clippings (Series 4) document the rabbi's public life as well as provide a contemporary view of his standing in the community. Series 5 (Reference materials and printed memorabilia, 1946-1973) contains printed items that Rothschild used in preparing sermons and articles as well as in support of his committee work. This series also contains miscellaneous printed items and the rabbi's appointment books for the last four years of his life. Rabbi Rothschild's death on 31 December 1973 brought an outpouring of public and private grief. Series 6 (Posthumous materials, 1974-1985), composed largely of sympathy letters to Mrs. Rothschild and newspaper clippings, provides a contemporary summary of the effect his activities had had on individuals, organizations and communities.

Photographic and audiovisual materials in Series 7 ([1942]-1973) document many of Rothschild's public appearances. The family's desire to record significant events in the rabbi's career led to the accumulation of some of this material. Photographs represent the bulk of this series, but among the sound recordings are examples of the rabbi's mode of delivery as well as a complete recording of the remarks made at the 1965 dinner honoring Nobel Peace Prize winner Martin Luther King, Jr. Included in this series are videotapes of a 1950 trip to Israel and a brief television interview with the rabbi shortly after the 1958 bombing of the Temple.

Few papers having to do with the institutional life of the Temple appear in the personal papers of Rabbi Rothschild. Temple records that have been placed in an archival repository can be found at the Atlanta Historical Society. Series 8, however, contains the few items that found their way into the Rothschild papers. The records for the building fund campaign for l958-1959 represent the most substantive material in this series, and probably appear because the Rothschilds had begun to build a scrapbook for that campaign when the bombing of the Temple occurred in October 1958 and the two events were merged in the same scrapbook.


  • 1933-1985
  • Majority of material found within ( 1942-1973)

Language of Materials

Materials entirely in English.

Restrictions on access

Special restrictions: Use copies have not been made for audiovisual material in this collection. Researchers must contact the Rose Library at least two weeks in advance for access to these items. Collection restrictions, copyright limitations, or technical complications may hinder the Rose Library's ability to provide access to audiovisual material.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

Special restrictions apply: Researcher reproductions cannot be made from transcript of address in Box 25: folder 10. Copy was reproduced for this department from the King Center Library and Archives.

Biographical Note

Jacob Mortimer Rothschild (August 4, 1911 - December 31, 1973), born and reared in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, was ordained a Reform rabbi by the Hebrew Union College (HUC) in 1937. He served congregations in Davenport, Iowa, and Pittsburgh before entering the Army in March 1942. Serving in the Pacific as an American Division chaplain, he accompanied those troops when they relieved the Marines at Guadalcanal in November 1942. Some sources report that Rothschild was the first Jewish chaplain on the Pacific front. Returning to the United States in October 1943 because of ill health, Rothschild continued his Army service until April 1946. Upon discharge he traveled to Atlanta to assume the position of rabbi of the city's only Reform congregation, the Hebrew Benevolent Congregation, usually referred to as the Temple. Rothschild married Janice Oettinger, the daughter of one of the Temple's families, December 29, 1946. They had two children, Marcia in 1947 and Bill in 1948.

Rothschild remained in Atlanta from 1946 until his death in December 1973. He worked with and frequently held leadership positions in local, regional, and national Jewish organizations, including the Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR), the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR), and the Union of American Hebrew Congregations (UAHC). As a long-time member of the UAHC-CCAR's Commission on Social Action, chairman of the CCAR's Commission of Justice and Peace, and executive board member of the National Conference of Christians and Jews (NCCJ), he involved himself in social justice issues throughout his rabbinate.

Besides carrying leadership responsibilities in religious organizations, Rothschild also was active in Atlanta's social and political life. Chairman of the Greater Atlanta Council on Human Relations, he belonged to Atlanta's Community Relations Commission, the Human Relations Council of Georgia, and the Southern Regional Council during critical years of the civil rights movement.

From early in his career in Atlanta, Rothschild spoke frequently on civil rights issues through the 1950s and 1960s when that stance was not popular. The bombing of the Temple in October 1958 was one of the negative results of the rabbi's position. Having developed a close friendship with Martin Luther King, Jr., during the early 1960s, Rothschild became less directly involved with the civil rights movement after King's death in 1968.

Rothschild traveled abroad for both professional and personal reasons. He made several trips to Israel (1950, 1963, 1968/1969) and two trips to Germany (1960, 1968). Rothschild experienced several periods of ill health during his rabbinate and suffered his first heart attack in June l973. After a period of recuperation, he had begun to resume normal activities when his second heart attack occurred. He died New Year's Eve 1973 and is buried in Atlanta's Westview Cemetery. His wife and two children survived him. More detailed biographical information can be found in One Voice: Rabbi Jacob M. Rothschild and the Troubled South by his widow, Janice Rothschild Blumberg


13.25 linear feet (27 boxes); 1 oversized papers folder (OP); AV Masters: 1 linear foot (1 box)


Personal papers of Rabbi Jacob M. Rothschild of Atlanta, Georgia consisting of correspondence, writings, clippings, printed and audiovisual materials, and memorabilia.

Arrangement Note

Organizated into nine series: (1) Personal papers, (2) Correspondence, (3) Writings, (4) Newspaper clippings, (5) Reference materials and printed memorabilia, (6) Posthumous materials, (7) Photographs and audiovisual materials, (8) Temple records, and (9) Collected materials.


Gift, l984.

Related Materials in Other Repositories

The Temple records, Ida Pearle and Joseph Cuba Community Archives, William Breman Jewish Heritage Museum and the Hebrew Benevolent Congregation records, Atlanta History Center.

Publication Note

Blumberg, Janice Rothschild. One Voice: Rabbi Jacob M. Rothschild and the Troubled South. Macon, Ga.: Mercer University, 1985.


Control level 3


File name: rothschild637.doc


Processed by Lee Sayrs, completed April 1986.

Control level 3

File name: rothschild637.doc

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Index of Selected Correspondents by Name

Selective indexes by name of correspondent and by topic were prepared during a review of the correspondence series. Both indexes pertain to the same selected letters and include correspondence to and from Rothschild. The selection of index entries was based on frequency, on importance to Rabbi Rothschild and /or the papers, and on any connection to other collections held by the Rose Library. It is important to note that, while the indexes can be helpful in identifying particular correspondents or topics, they are not exhaustive. In-depth research will require an examination of the correspondence series itself. Because the correspondence series is arranged chronologically, researchers should use the letters' date to identify items to be examined.
Unknown author
Unknown, Glenn
Abernathy, Ralph David
Abraham, Helen B.
Abram, Morris B.
Ackerman, Charles
Adler, Leon M.
Alex, Rissa
Alexander, Cecil
Alexander, T.M., Sr.
Allen, Ivan, Jr.
Allison, C. H. (Mrs.)
Applebaum, Morton M.
Arnall, Ellis
Arnold, Harold N.
Atlanta Jewish Community Council
Atlanta Journal
Atlas, Ralph
Bachrach, Alfred R. (Mrs.)
Baldwin, Nancy T.
Bamberger, Henry
Baumgard, Herbert M.
Baylinson, David A.
Bearman, John J. (Mrs.)
Bech-Todten, Ilse
Beirman, Leonard
Bell, William B., Jr.
Berger, Maxwell
Berman, Morton Mayer
Bernadin, Joseph L.
Bernadin et al, Joseph L.
Bernards, Solomon S.
Bernstein, Philip S.
Bernstein, Stefanie
Berryman, Charles
Bier, Herbert D.
Blackman, Murray
Blanchard, Arthur T.
Blanksten, George I.
Blaser, Francis M.
Bloom, A.
Blumberg, Herman J.
Bolton, Frances P.
Boneh, Zeev
Boone, John O.
Boorstin, Samuel A.
Boozer, Jack
Borowitz, Eugene B.
Botnick, A.I.
Brail, Nina W.
Breman, M. William
Brickner, Balfour
Brown, Aubrey N., Jr.
Brown, Ira L., Sr. (Mrs.)
Buchler, Joseph
Bullard, Helen
Burnett, John R.
Burtenshaw, Noel
Cahn, Sigmund A.
Callaway, Howard "Bo"
Cannon, William Ragsdale
Carter, Jimmy
Center, Dave
Chapman, Pat
Chasdi, Shimon
Chyet, Stanley F.
Cilley, Melissa A.
Claibourne, Randolph
Cochran, Roger A.
Cohen, J. Joseph
Cohen, Richard
Cohn, Jessica P.
Cohn, Julius
Collins, Michael
Coons, Isidor
Cross, J.H.
Dalton, William R.
Darby, Charles L.
Davidson, Fred
Davison, Hal M.
Diamond, Norman H.
Donnellan, Thomas
Dorfman, Miles
Draft Board 62
Dubrof, Jerry
Duffell, Judie
Dyer, James W.
Earnest, Gertrude
Eichhorn, David Max
Eisendrath, Maurice N.
Eisenhower, Dwight D.
Eisenstein, Isaac
Elliott, Glenda
Ellis, Elmo
Elson, Shia
Epstein, Harry
Fain, Irving Jay
Fairfax, William H.
Farmer, Boyd
Feibelman, Julian B.
Feldman, A.L.
Feldman, Emanuel
Feldman, Sidney
Feuer, Leon I.
Fields, Harvey J.
Fields, William H.
Fierman, Frank
Fifield, Harry
Fink, Joseph L.
Fleming, Harold C.
Ford, J.T.
Frakes, Jenny
Frazin, Robert P.
Freehof, Solomon B.
Frey, William H., II
Friedlander, Charlotte F.
Gambrell, David H.
General Letter
Gerber, Israel J.
Gershon, Abe (Mrs.)
Gettinger, M.C.
Gilbert, Hugh W.
Gilboa, Moshe
Ginsberg, Edward
Gittelsohn, Roland B.
Glaser, Joseph B.
Glueck, Nelson
Gold, Raphael
Goldburg, Norman
Goldman, Albert A.
Goldstein, Abe
Goldwasser, David
Golphin, Kenneth
Goodman, Abram Vossen
Goodman, Alfred L.
Gordon, Theodore H.
Gorin, Paul
Gottschall, Andrew W.
Grafman, Milton L.
Greenberg, Irving L.
Greenwood, Carrie
Griffin, George
Griscom, Virginia
Gutman, Harry K.
Haas, Joseph S.
Hall, Dick
Hallinan, Paul J.
Hanken, Nat
Harris, James F., Jr.
Hartley, Virgil
Hartsfield, William B.
Hartsman, Erwin
Heller, Lillian B.
Henson, W.C.
Herman, Erwin L.
Herst, Roger
Hertz, Richard C.
Hertz, Richard, et al.
Herzog, Joseph D.
Hess, Nathaniel E.
Heyman, Arthur
Hibshman, Eugene
Hinchin, Martin I.
Hirsch, Ellen
Hirsch, Richard
Hirsch, Richard G.
Hodson, Hugh
Hurtig, Howard
Isserman, F.M.
Jacobs, Maurice
Jacobs, Sinclair
Jacobson, Harvey
Jaffe, Benjamin Elijah
Johnson, Elsie R.
Jones, Bevel
Jordan, Earl A.
Jordan, Vernon E., Jr.
Jospe, Alfred
Kahn, Ed
Kahn, Robert I.
Kapiloff, Lillian
Kaplan, Kivie
Katz, Robert L.
King, Coretta Scott
King, Martin Luther, Jr. [* denotes original King letter]
King, Martin Luther, Sr.
Kirkpatrick, Dow
Klausman, H.M.
Kleckley, Voigt
Kramer, John H.
Krapf, Franz
Kravetz, Julius
Kravten, A.J.
Kunigk, Fritz
Laird, Samuel L.
Lasensky, G.C.
Lauderdale, George
Leadership Program, City-wide
Lee, Robert E.
Lefkowitz, Sidney M.
Legerton, Fitzhugh
Legune, Carol
Lehman, Lowell
Lehrman, Edgar H.
Lehrman, Frances N.
Lehrman, Jacob
Lehrman, Richard
LeNaboe, J.
Lesser, Seymour
Letson, John B.
Lev, Aryeh
Levin, Arthur J.
Levin, Lester
Levitas, Elliott
Levy, Jerome
Lewengrub, Stuart
Lieberman, Morris
Liebman, Morton
Liebschutz, Thomas
Lindskoog, James A.
Liner, Paul
Link, Louis J.
Lipman, Eugen
Lowenstein, Bill
Luders, Hilda/Gerhardt
Luntz, Hannah G.
Lyle, Richard
MacDougall, Margaret
Mackay, James A.
MacRae, Douglas G.
Madell, Miriam
Malino, Jerome R.
Malter, Philip
Mantinband, Charles
Marcus, Jacob R.
Martin, Philip
Massell, Sam
Matz, Linda
Maud, Cofer
Maxwell, James
May, Armand
Mays, Benjamin Elijah
McCloud, J. Oscar
McDonald, Dore
McEvoy, Don
McGill, Ralph
McLachlan, Marjorie
McLachlan, Marjorie
Mell, P.H.
Meyer, Henry (Mrs)
Meyers, Lawrence
Miller, Ernest
Miller, Mary Jane
Milstein, David N.
Milton, Weinstein
Mintzer, Julius
Mohr, Julian
Montag, Anthony
Moog, Henry B.
Moore, Harmon D.
Morse, Earl
Multer, Abraham J.
Myers, Cecil
Myers, Henry (Mrs.)
Myers, Orie
Narot, Joseph
National Conference of Christians and Jews, Atlanta Chapter, Executive Board
Nixon, Richard
Nunn, Sam
Nussbaum, Perry E.
O'Donnell, Constance M.
Oberdorfer, Donald
Oettinger, Carolyn
Olan, Levi
Oppenheimer, Jane and Robert
Partridge, Agnes
Paschall, Eliza
Pasternack, Joseph (Mrs.)
Patterson, Eugene
Patterson, Ida B.
Pauley, Frances
Pennington, Leigh
Pepper, Tom
Pike, Sidney
Plaut, Gunther
Pohris, Heinrich
Polier, Justine Wise
Potter, Williams H.
Powell, Marcia
Presidents, Congregational
Pressly, William
Raab, Robert
Regner, Sidney
Reichert, Victor E.
Reisman, Edward D.
Rich, Richard
Rilling, Paul M.
Rittenbaum, Max
Robin, Frederick (Mrs.)
Rolleston, Moreton
Roseman, Kenneth D.
Rosenberg, Samuel H.
Rosenthall, Frank
Rosenthall, William
Rosenthall, William A.
Rosenzweig, Efraim M.
Ross, Audrey and Lee
Ross, Mortimer
Rothschild, Jac H.
Rubin, Alvin D.
Rubin, Mrs. Elliot
Rudavsky, Joseph
Rudin, Jacob Philip
Russell, Richard B.
Rypins, Fred I.
Sajowitz, William
Sanders, Carl
Sandmel, Samuel
Sapin, Pinchas
Saron, Alex
Schachtel, Hyman J.
Scharf, Leslie D.
Schary, Dore
Schechter, Philip
Schickler, Rolf W.
Schindler, Alexander M.
Schneider, Helen R.
Schoolman, Leonard A.
Schroeder, Ester K.
Schwartz, Eleanor R.
Schwartz, James F.
Schwartz, W.B.
Schwartzman, Sylvan D.
Scott, William T.
Seltzer, Sanford
Shankman, Arnold
Shankman, Jacob K.
Shapiro, Sanford H.
Sharp, Donald Y.
Sheier, Ira
Sherry, Gerard E.
Shoenbach, Karl H.
Shulhafer, Philip
Sibley, John A.
Sigal, Meyer
Sigman, Henry
Silver, Harold
Silver, Samuel M.
Silverman, William B.
Slann, David
Snyder, Edith
Sokobin, Alan Mayor
Soltes, Avraham
Sommerville, Robert
Soskin, Samuel
Spalding, Hugh
Spear, Joseph D.
Spitz, John
Stanford, Morgan C.
Starrels, Solomon E.
Stauber, Max
Steinheimer, Nelle
Stern, Malcolm
Sterne, I.F.
Sterne, A.H. (Mrs.)
Sterne, Sallie and Buddie
Strong, Tom
Susskind, David J.
Taliaferro, Pam
Talmadge, Herman E.
Taylor, Randolph
Teal, Larry E.
Temple Members
Temple Parents
Thompson, Fletcher
Thurston, James A.
Tilly, Dorothy
Tuggle, Nelle
Uhlmann, Paul, Jr.
Unger, Sidney E.
Vandiver, Ernest
von Holtey, Nicolas
Vorspan, Albert
Voss, Carl Herman
Walker, Mary L.
Ward, Judson
Watt, Charles M.
Watt, Jerry Dubrof
Watt, Charles M., Jr.
Weil, Carolyn
Weinberg, Dudley
Weinstein, Alfred A.
Weinstein, Milton
Weitz, Martin
Weizenbaum, Joseph S.
Welch, Nat
Wells, Guy H.
Weltner, Charles
West, Paul
Whitehead, Brady
Whorton, Karen
Wice, David H.
Wilkins, Josephine
Wilkins, Sam A.
Williams, Allison
Williams, Samuel W.
Williamson, Q.V.
Wittenstein, Charles F.
Wolfson, Ellen
Wolfson, Sandy
Wright, Marion A.
Yallon, Shimon
Young, Andrew
Young, Whitney
Youngblut, John R.
Zaban, Carol
Zaban, Erwin
Zerin, Edward
Zielonka, David
Zimskind, Nat

Index of Selected Correspondence by Topic

Selective indexes by name and by topic were prepared during a review of the correspondence series. Both indexes pertain to the same selected letters and include correspondence to and from Rothschild. The selection of index entries was based on frequency, on importance to Rabbi Rothschild and /or the papers, and on any connection to other collections held by the Rose Library. It is important to note that, while the indexes can be helpful in identifying particular correspondents or topics, they are not exhaustive. In-depth research will require an examination of the correspondence series itself. Because the correspondence series is arranged chronologically, researchers should use the letters' date to identify items to be examined.
Abram, Morris
American Civil Liberties Union
African Americans-Relations with Jews
Agnes Scott College
American Council for Judaism
American Jewish Archives
American Jewish Congress
Americans and Canadians in Israel
Anti-Defamation League
Archbishop of Atlanta
Atlanta Community Relations Commission
Atlanta Jewish Welfare Federation
Atlanta Urban League
Bombing, Birmingham Church
Bombing, Temple
Brandeis University
Central Conference of American Rabbis
Central Conference of American Rabbis; U.S. Armed Forces Chaplaincy
China travel
Christian Council of Metro Atlanta
Church and state
Civil rights
Civil unrest
Ecumenical issues
Ecumenical programs
Emory University
Frank, Leo - Case
Georgia Civil Rights Commission
Georgia Legislature
Georgia Tuition Grant Law
Golden, Harry
Greater Atlanta Council on Human Relations
Gubernatorial election, 1966
Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion
Human Relations Council of Georgia
Jenkins, Herbert - Event
Jewish refugees
Jewish religious education
Jews in Atlanta
Key 73
King, Martin Luther, Jr.
King, Martin Luther, Jr. - Dinner
Marriage, Mixed
Morehouse College
National Conference of Christians and Jews
National Jewish Welfare Board
Presidential election, 1964
Race relations
Reform Judaism
Russell, Richard B.
Southern Christian Leadership Conference
Southern Regional Council
Soviet Jewry
Union of American Hebrew Congregations
Union of American Hebrew Congregations-Central Conference of American Rabbis
United Nations
University of Georgia, Religion in Life Program
Virginia Council on Human Relations, Conference on People, Religion and a Changing Virginia
Weltner, Charles
World Union for Progressive Judaism
Zionist Organization of America
Jacob M. Rothschild papers, 1933-1985
Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library, Emory University
April 18, 2005
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library Repository

540 Asbury Circle
Atlanta Georgia 30322 United States