Page 117 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 28

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I l l
S
t e in b a c h
— S
o lom on
G
rayzel
lish a regimen requiring minimal exertion, Dr. Grayzel has
undertaken an herculean project which younger scholars would
approach with trepidation. He is aware that his ultimate goal—
to compile “A Register of Papal Bulls on the Jews”—is an am-
bitious, prodigious task that will take years to complete. But
such difficulties will not deter him from pursuing his goal.
He is conversant with Rabbi Tarfon’s dictum in
Ethics of
the Fathers,
“I t is not necessarily incumbent upon thee to
complete the work; but neither art thou free to desist from it.”
Dr. Grayzel cannot desist. At the end of his six-month
research period at the Vatican Library he plans to leave for a
month or two in London where, as he stated in a letter to this
writer, “there is work to be done at the British Museum.”
II
Solomon Grayzel was born in Minsk, Russia, in 1896, the son
of Dov-Behr and Eta (Kashdan). His father, a
melamed
who
helped organize the
heder metukan
in Minsk, was an alumnus
of Slobodka and considered something of a
matm id
with prom-
ise of becoming a
rov.
However, he became entangled in the
intellectual seductions of Haskalah and refused to take the
semikhah
examination.
By 1908 all the family had immigrated to the
goldene me
-
dina
in America. Sol immediately began what was the typical
educational pattern of the Jewish immigrant child: he was
enrolled in P.S. 84 in Brownsville and proved to be an astute
pupil. In 1911, less than three years later, he entered the Brook-
lyn Boys High School, from which he was graduated in 1914.
In that year he became a student in the City College of New
York, while also enrolled in the junior class at the Jewish
Theological Seminary of America. On receiving his B. A. de-
gree from C. C. N. Y. in 1917, he was accepted as a rabbinical
student at the Seminary; and he also did post-graduate work
at Columbia University which led to an M. A. in sociology
in 1920. After his ordination at the Seminary in 1921 (where
he also was awarded the honorary D. H. L. in 1948), Solomon
Grayzel took a pulpit in Camden, N. J., and at the same time
enrolled as a graduate student at Dropsie University in Phila-
delphia, from which he received his doctorate in 1927.
On his return in 1928 from intensive research on Jewish
subjects in France, Germany and Italy, Grayzel became Reg-
istrar and Professor of History at Gratz College in Philadel-
phia, a school for Jewish teachers. He served in that capacity