Rabbi Julius Gordon

Rabbi Julius Gordon

Kraków, Małopolskie, Poland
Death 7 Jul 1954 (aged 56)
Truro, Barnstable County, Massachusetts, USA
Burial Affton, St. Louis County, Missouri, USA
Memorial ID 37121994 · View Source
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Rabbi Gordon served Congregation Shaare Emeth, St. Louis, Missouri for over 25 years (1929-1954) and he is listed along with other rabbis who served St. Louis congregations. You can find the full list at SAINT LOUIS RABBIS.

Rabbi Gordon's death in 1954 was sudden and unexpected.

Following information sourced from the American Jewish Archives at Hebrew Union College, Cincinnati, Ohio

Julius Gordon was born in Lomza, Poland on December 17, 1897. He arrived in the United States in 1913. He would later earn his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Cincinnati and was ordained in 1926 from the Hebrew Union College. He was active in the Central Conference of American Rabbis.

One of Rabbi Gordon's noted quotes:
"Love is not blind - it sees more, not less. But because it sees more, it is willing to see less."

An excellent orator, Rabbi Gordon's Friday night sermons drew huge crowds, particularly when he reviewed current books


St. Louis Post-Dispatch
July 8, 1954



Rabbi Julius Gordon of Shaare Emeth Temple died today at his vacation home in Truro, Mass. He was 56 years old and had been rabbi of the Shaare Emeth congregation for 25 years.

Cause of his death was not reported. Members of his staff here said that Rabbi Gordon appeared to be in good health when he left for his annual vacation two weeks ago.

Rabbi Gordon was born in Poland and came to the United States 40 years ago. He was a graduate of the University of Cincinnati and the Hebrew Union College, Cincinnati, OH. He was awarded the degree of Doctor of Hebrew Letters by Hebrew Union College, Cincinnati, OH in 1945.

He came to Shaare Emeth Temple in 1929 after occupying a pulpit in Worcester, MA., for three years. In 1951, he was elected rabbi for life of the University City congregation.

Last February he was again honored by his congregation for his 23 years of service with the temple. The congregation of 5,000 members is the largest congregation in St. Louis.

The temple is at 6830 Delmar Boulevard. Rabbi and Mrs. Gordon lived at 6943 Waterman Avenue, University City. During his 25 years as rabbi, the temple membership grew from 350 to the present 5,000, with more than 1,000 children enrolled in the religious school.

Rabbi Gordon was a noted orator, and frequently was invited to lecture before Jewish and Christian groups throughout the country. He was active in civic affairs, and served as chairman of the Jewish Welfare Fund drive in 1940, and took part in many Community Chest campaigns.

He had served as a board member of the Urban League and the St. Louis Race Relations Commission.

In 1939, Rabbi Gordon published a book, "Pity the Persecutor," dealing with Nazi Semitism, and in 1950 he published another book, "Your Sense of Humor: A Guide to a Happy Life."

He is survived by his wife, Mrs. Mildred Gordon; two daughters, Mrs. Ruth Newton of Princeton, NJ., and Mrs. Albert Lewbowitz of 4515 Maryland Avenue, St. Louis, and a son David Gordon who is taking post-graduate studies at Harvard University, Cambridge, MA.

The body will be returned today by train and funeral services and burial will be in St. Louis. Final arrangements will be published later.

Source: Temple Emanuel archives

In 1926, after three years as Temple Emanuel's spiritual leader, Rabbi Mazure resigned. His place was taken by Rabbi Julius Gordon, only recently ordained at Hebrew Union College. Rabbi Joseph Klein, in his book LOOKING THINGS OVER, refers to him as "a preacher of unusual power and brilliance" whose sermons possessed "a kind of mystical quality of rare poetic beauty." Three years later, Rabbi Gordon would leave to become spiritual leader of Congregation Shaare Emeth of St. Louis, Missouri, one of the largest Reform congregations in the country.

During his tenure at Temple Emanuel, Rabbi Gordon helped to develop a format for religious services that lasted for almost a decade.

A major financial campaign for a new synagogue building was scheduled to start in May, 1930. No one could have foreseen that, in the months between the planning and the campaign itself, the stock market would crash and be followed by the worst Depression in our history. Over the next few years some building fund money was collected, but at the height of the Depression, most of it was returned to the contributors. On September 1, 1929, Rabbi Gordon submitted his resignation. It was not coincidental and no one would connect the Gorden departure, but late October, 1929 would see the stock market crash and that would herald the beginning of the Great Depression.

Temple Emanuel, Worcester, MA had as its first full-time rabbi, Maurice Mazure, who was hired in 1923. After serving the congregation for three years, Rabbi Julius Gordon was elected the congregation's second rabbi and served until 1929. Gordon would move to St. Louis, Missouri as senior rabbi at Shaare Emeth in 1929.

Top photo Courtesy of The Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives, Cincinnati, Ohio AMERICAN JEWISH ARCHIVES.ORG

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The rabbi featured on this Find A Grave page is one of many included in a "Virtual Cemetery" of rabbis who've passed but who served on St. Louis pulpits during their rabbinate. The complete "Virtual Cemetery" list can be found at SAINT LOUIS RABBIS. Questions about this "Virtual Cemetery" project may be directed to:
Steven Weinreich
Email: steveweinreich26@gmail.com

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  • Maintained by: Brent Stevens
  • Originally Created by: Charles W Brown
  • Added: 15 May 2009
  • Find A Grave Memorial 37121994
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Rabbi Julius Gordon (17 Dec 1897–7 Jul 1954), Find A Grave Memorial no. 37121994, citing New Mount Sinai Cemetery and Mausoleum, Affton, St. Louis County, Missouri, USA ; Maintained by Brent Stevens (contributor 47516363) .