Page 112 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 22

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106
J
e w i s h
B
o o k
A
n n u a l
served as the Rauschenbusch lecturer at Colgate-Rochester Divin­
ity School in 1944, and an expanded version of those lectures has
been published in book form under the title
Modern Nationalism
and Religion.
He was visiting professor of history at the Hebrew
University in Jerusalem in 1958 and has served continuously
since 1954 in a comparable capacity at the Jewish Theological
Seminary of America.
A full program of teaching has resulted in his raising up a
whole generation of younger scholars who have trained under
him. Academic life and the Jewish community, not only in
America but also in Europe and in Israel, have been enriched
by dozens of his students who include, among many eminent
names, no less a personage than Zalman Shazar, the incumbent
president of Israel.
Scholar and Communal Leader
Throughout his life Baron has found time for communal en­
deavor. At Columbia University he has been a central figure in
various committees on academic policy. His great place both as
scholar and academic leader was recognized by the University in
a not very usual gesture; it conferred an honorary degree on him
at its 1964 commencement. He has held offices too numerous to
mention in almost all the major bodies of international Jewish
life. When the government of Israel invited him to deliver the
historical case against Eichmann at the trial in Jerusalem in
1962, that assignment was a recognition not only of his scholar­
ship but of his lifelong role in active Jewish leadership.
At various times Baron has served as president of the Academic
Council of the Hebrew University, of the American Academy for
Jewish Research, and of the American Jewish Historical Society.
His closest identification is with the Conference on Jewish Social
Studies, which he helped found, together with Morris Raphael
Cohen, in 1935. He has acted as the editor of its quarterly,
The
Journal of Jewish Social Studies,
since its inception in 1939 and,
with interruptions, he has served as president of the Conference
for fifteen of the thirty years of its existence. His
Bibliography of
Jewish Social Studies, 1938-39,
a pioneer work in the field, is but
one of the many studies he has contributed to its publications.
An ancillary organization of the Conference, the committee on
Jewish Cultural Reconstruction which was founded in 1947 under
his leadership, was the major factor in finding and rescuing the
bulk of the books of the important European Jewish libraries
which the Nazis had despoiled.
The crucial aspect of the life of a scholar is not, however, the
offices he holds or even the academic honors that accrue to him.
It is his importance as a creative mind in research, interpretation