Joachim Prinz was 24 years old in 1926 when he became a rabbi in Berlin. He was a passionate speaker with a radical approach to the pulpit that contrasted sharply with the staid, conventional style of his colleagues. His, often controversial, sermons attracted standing room only audiences to some of the largest synagogues in the city. Young people were eager to belong to his study groups.

Having buried the first victims of Hitler’s brutality in 1934 he understood early on that there was no future for the Jews of Hitler’s Germany and, in a best selling book, “We Jews”, he urged them to leave the country where many had lived for generations. He was himself expelled in 1937 and came to the United States with his family.

For the next forty years he brought the same kind of independent thinking and energy to Temple B’nai Abraham in Newark, N.J. and to his leadership of Jewish organizations like The American Jewish Congress where he served as President.

His life-long commitment to the cause of justice and civil liberty that was honed under the Nazis culminated in his 1963 speech at the March on Washington. He died in 1988 after a long life dedicated to progressive Judaism, The State of Israel, and an end to bigotry of all kinds.



Joachim Prinz, Rebellious Rabbi Posthumous Autobiography

edited by Michael A. Meyer

Joachim Prinz: I Shall not be Silent

(Forthcoming documentary film (trailer)

The Plot for America

Allan Nadler essay on Joachim Prinz

Temple B’nai Abraham

Beyond All That (Jonathan J. Prinz blog)

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