MENORAH (Illustrated Monthly for the Jewish Home)

MENORAH (Illustrated Monthly for the Jewish Home)
MENORAH (Illustrated Monthly for the Jewish Home), a German-language family journal for science, art, and literature, founded in Vienna in July 1923 by Paul J. Diamant. In his preface, Diamant defined the paper's aims "in the first place to advance the efforts directed towards bridging the various, often conflicting tendencies within Jewry, hoping, on a cultural basis, to bring about the necessary harmony. We intend carefully to cherish the spiritual and artistic traditions, to look back to those times when Judaism was deeply rooted in genuine soil, unsophisticated by sickly questionings. We intend to cooperate – a lofty aspiration – in creating a homogeneous Jewish cultural atmosphere." As a liberal-conservative Jewish paper, Menorah was primarily directed towards acculturated and educated bourgeois circles, including women and the younger generation, presenting the Jewish family as "the bulwark and prop of Judaism" at all times. While the journal sought to publish articles on all aspects of Jewish life (its main interest, however, lay in fields of Jewish religion and East European Jewish culture), it consistently maintained a high level of scholarship and of literary and artistic quality. Though "not tied to any party," Menorah tended to support the zionist revisionist movement and published articles by its leader, vladimir jabotinsky . During the first year, some contributions even appeared in Hebrew and in English, thus facilitating the paper's intended circulation throughout Western and Eastern Europe, the United States, and Palestine. However, the periodical does not seem to have been widely read. In July 1924, Menorah passed into the hands of Norbert Hoffmann. He reorganized the paper, dropped its English subtitle (the Hebrew was kept until December 1925), and appointed new permanent staff members such as Nathan Birnbaum (Hamburg), Friedrich Matzner, and Robert Weiss (Vienna), Hoffmann's wife, Fine, the composer Rudolf Réti , the chess champion Richard Réti , and W. Loewinger. Moreover, from July 1924, Menorah was jointly edited in Vienna and Frankfurt/Main, and from Oct. 1928 in Vienna and Berlin, then mostly as double issues every two months (until January 1929 together with the publisher abraham horodisch ). From January 1926, Menorah was reduced in size and its German subtitle "Illustrierte Monatsschrift fuer die juedische Familie" changed to "Juedisches Familienblatt fuer Wissenschaft / Kunst und Literatur." Frequently, artwork was included or special editions issued, such as on the Jews in Vienna (March 1926) and Silesia (May 1926), on Jewish hygiene (June/July 1926) and folklore (Oct. 1926), on the Jews in Poland (June/July 1927), on the artist max liebermann (August 1927), on Mainz and the Maharil (December 1927), on the Jewish section (JSOP) of the International Press Exhibition "Pressa" in Cologne (June/July 1928), or on the Jews in Bavaria (Nov./Dec. 1928). In December 1932, Menorah ceased publication. Norbert Hoffmann, together with his wife, immigrated to Palestine in 1938. He died in 1977. -BIBLIOGRAPHY: S. Federbush (ed.), Ḥokhmat Yisrael be-Ma'arav Eropah, 2 (1963), 403–6; I. Gartner, "Menorah. Juedisches Familienblatt fuer Wissenschaft / Kunst und Literatur (1923–1932), Geschichte einer Wiener Zeitschrift – mit einer deskriptiv-analytischen Bibliographie" (Ph.D. dissertation, Innsbruck University, 1997). (Johannes Valentin Schwarz (2nd ed.) MENORAH ASSOCIATION AND MENORAH JOURNAL MENORAH ASSOCIATION AND MENORAH JOURNAL, U.S. Jewish campus organization and periodical. Both grew out of the Harvard Menorah Society, a Jewish campus group formed in 1906 by henry hurwitz , at the time an undergraduate at the university. Influenced by the "new humanism" then being propounded in Cambridge by such figures as William James and George Santayana, the society sought to pursue the study of humanistic values in Judaism and to develop a positive intellectual relationship to Jewish tradition and belief. Similar groups soon formed on other American campuses, and in 1913 an intercollegiate Menorah Association was established which eventually numbered some 80 chapters. The association became largely defunct in the 1930s, but as the first attempt to establish an intercollegiate Jewish body of its kind it helped pave the way for such later organizations as the B'nai B'rith Hillel societies. The Menorah Journal, first published in 1915, was similarly dedicated to the promotion of a "Jewish humanism." Appearing bimonthly from 1915 through 1927, monthly from 1928 to 1930, and irregularly thereafter until 1962 for a total of 157 issues in all, it featured articles and fiction by leading Jewish scholars, intellectuals, and writers, and reproductions of contemporary Jewish art. It served for several decades as a center for lively controversy in American Jewish life. The Journal lost much of its prominence in the years after World War II, but like the Menorah Association, it was in many ways the prototype of the successors that displaced it. -BIBLIOGRAPHY: L.W. Schwartz (ed.), The Menorah Treasury (1964); H.M. Kallen, in: Menorah Journal, 49 (1962), 9–16; R. Alter, in: Commentary, 39:5 (1965), 51–55. (Hillel Halkin)

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

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