Schechter, Solomon

Schechter, Solomon shĕkhˈtər [key], 1847–1915, Jewish scholar. Born in Romania, he was educated in Vienna and at the Univ. of Berlin. He went to England in 1882 and in 1890 he was made lecturer in Talmud at Cambridge; he became professor of Hebrew at University College, London, in 1899. In 1887 he published his critical edition of Avot According to Rabbi Nathan. In 1897 he traveled to Cairo and brought back to Cambridge some 100,000 manuscript fragments from the famous Cairo geniza. Among these, Schechter identified the hitherto missing Hebrew version of Ecclesiasticus. In 1902 he became president of the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York City, which he developed into a center of learning and a spiritual home of the Conservative movement. He was also the founder of the United Synagogue of America, the association of Conservative congregations. Among his books are Studies in Judaism (1896; 2d series 1908; 3d series 1924) and Some Aspects of Rabbinic Theology (1909).

See biography by N. de M. Bentwick (1938); M. Davis, The Emergence of Conservative Judaism (1963).

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