Richard James Horatio Gottheil

Richard James Horatio Gottheil (1862—1936) was an American Semitic scholar and Zionist. He was born in Manchester, England, but moved to the United States at age 11 when his father, Gustav Gottheil, accepted a position as the assistant Rabbi of the largest Reform Temple in New York, Temple Emanu-El. He graduated from Columbia College in 1881, and studied also in Europe, earning his doctorate at Leipzig in 1886.

From 1898 to 1904 he was president of the American Federation of Zionists, and worked with both Stephen S. Wise and Jacob De Haas as organizational secretaries. Though he was ever desirous of returning to the quiet life of academia, Gottheil attended the second Zionist Congress in Basel establishing relationships with Theodor Herzl and Max Nordau [ [http://www.jewishmag.com/118mag/richard_gottheil/richard_gottheil.htm] . Richard Gottheil, the Reluctant Father of American Zionism] . "Professor Gottheil shunned publicity; he did not mind the trickles of adulation accorded him as President; but his official duties irked him beyond endurance. He hated to preside at meetings. He was careless in procedural matters and embarrassed by ceremonies in which he had to take part. He was horrified by emotional debates. He felt that his status as a professor was being sullied by his being President of a propaganda organization. He ran away from official duties. He usually limited his official addresses at Zionist meetings to the necessary items, speaking briefly. He became more and more nerve-provoked by his status, especially as the practical affairs of the Zionist Federation made no visible progress." [Louis Lipsky, Memoirs in Profile, Jewish Publication Society of America, 1975, p. 213.] Gottheil virtually vanished from the Zionist movement for the rest of his life. He continued writing and supporting the Zionist effort but he never again undertook a leadership role.

After 1904 he was vice president of the American Jewish Historical Society. Professor Gottheil wrote many articles on Oriental and Jewish questions for newspapers and reviews. He edited the "Columbia University Oriental Series", and the "Semitic Study Series". After 1901 he was one of the editors of the "Jewish Encyclœpedia". He wrote:
* "The Syriac grammar of Mar Elia Zobha" (1887)
* "Selections from the Syriac Julian Romance" (1906)
* "Zionism" (1914)

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  • GOTTHEIL, RICHARD JAMES HORATIO — (1862–1936), U.S. Orientalist. Gottheil was born in Manchester, England, the son of gustav gottheil , and immigrated to New York with   his parents in 1873. He taught Semitic languages at Columbia University from 1886 until his death, except for… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

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  • Richard Gottheil — Richard James Horatio Gottheil Richard James Horatio Gottheil (1862 1936) était un orientaliste spécialisé en langues sémitiques et un sioniste juif américain. Né à Manchester, en Angleterre, il émigra aux États Unis à 11 ans lorsque son père,… …   Wikipédia en Français

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  • R. Gottheil — Richard James Horatio Gottheil Richard James Horatio Gottheil (1862 1936) était un orientaliste spécialisé en langues sémitiques et un sioniste juif américain. Né à Manchester, en Angleterre, il émigra aux États Unis à 11 ans lorsque son père,… …   Wikipédia en Français


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