Series 2
Correspondence, 1946-1973
Boxes 2 - 10; OP1

Scope and Content Note

The value of the Rothschild papers lies largely in the rabbi's correspondence that runs continuously from early in 1946, when he arrived in Atlanta to assume his rabbinical duties at the Temple, until the end of 1973, when he died as the result of a second heart attack. Arranged chronologically, the series documents the religious, social and political aspects of Rothschild's career

Correspondence with Atlanta Constitution editor Ralph McGill and others dating from the late 1940's documents the rabbi's support for the civil rights movement. The early letters also reveal the opposition Rothschild faced as a result of his support for civil rights. Although no one was convicted of bombing the Temple in October 1958, it was widely assumed that anti-semitic segregationists were responsible. (See Series 4, Newspaper Clippings, for full accounts of the incident. See also Series 7 for a brief television interview about the bombing.) A heavy concentration of correspondence for late 1958 and early l959 following the Temple bombing provides perspectives on the thoughts of the rabbi and his correspondents regarding civil rights and the acts of terrorism spawned by opposition to integration. The 1958 letters also show how the Temple bombing propelled Rothschild into regional and national prominence.

Beginning in 1963, correspondence with Martin Luther King, Jr., documents Rothschild's concern for the achievement of social justice. The letters also trace the growth of friendship and cooperation between the two clergymen. A five-page letter (28 September l967) from King reveals aspects of relations between black and Jewish civil rights leaders, while the November 1964-February 1965 correspondence with Atlanta leaders regarding King's receipt of the Nobel Peace Prize affords a glimpse into attitudes about the civil rights movement in general and about King in particular. Other materials regarding the King dinner, including a list of sponsors, is included with this correspondence. (See also Series 3, Writings, and Series 4, Photographs and Audiovisual Materials.)

Rothschild's correspondence documents his activity in Atlanta's social and political life. For example, the correspondence for October and November 1966 reveals the difficulty he had taking a public position regarding the controversial 1966 gubernatorial election. The correspondence series contains many other clusters of letters that show him debating decisions about secular events. Material in Series 3 (Writings) provides additional information on the positions Rothschild took on various social and political issues.

Rothschild placed considerable importance on his relationships with Atlanta-area clergymen and educators. His correspondence contains many exchanges with religious leaders and teachers such as Catholic Archbishop Paul J. Hallinan and Emory University Professor Jack Boozer. (See Correspondence Index by Name to identify similar sequences.) These and similar series of letters provide perspectives on changes in Atlanta's social landscape and reveal the political roles of southern religious and political leaders.

Similarly, relations between the Jewish and Christian communities is a theme that runs through the entire correspondence series. Rothschild's letters, as well as his writings in Series 3, show that, although he cultivated professional and personal friendships with gentiles, he did not avoid confronting difficulties when they arose. Correspondence with Emory University administrators and faculty testifies to the value he placed on such connections; at the same time, an exchange of letters in 1961 shows his clear opposition to anti-semitism in educational institutions. Rothschild apparently discarded the hate mail he must have received at times, but other material regarding Jewish and Christian relations can be found in the following periods: October-December 1958 (Temple bombing); January 1965 (King dinner); and April 1973 (Christian evangelism).

Issues of concern to Reform Jews such as intermarriage, Jewish education, anti-semitism, church and state relations, the state of Israel, and the status of Soviet Jewry figure largely in this series. Involving himself in the activities of Jewish organizations, particularly the Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR) and the Union of American Hebrew Congregations (UAHC), Rothschild conducted lengthy exchanges about Jewish life and religion with rabbis across the country. (See Correspondence Index by Topic to follow particular issues). He stayed in especially close contact with Maurice Eisendrath, UAHC president; with Jacob Marcus, head of the American Jewish Archives; and with his mentor and noted Talmudic scholar, Solomon B. Freehof.

Selective indexes by name of correspondent and by topic are available for the correspondence series. The selection of names and topics to be listed occurred during the examination of the letters and was based on the frequency, the importance to Rothschild and/or the papers, and the relationship to other collections in the Special Collections Department. These indexes are filed separately from this guide and are available upon request. It is important to note that, while the indexes will be helpful in identifying particular correspondents or specific areas of interest, they are not exhaustive. In-depth research will require an examination of the series contents.

Scope and Content Note The value of the Rothschild papers lies largely in the rabbi's correspondence that runs continuously from early in 1946, when he arrived in Atlanta to assume his rabbinical duties at the Temple, until the end of 1973, when he died as the result of a second heart attack. Arranged chronologically, the series documents the religious, social and political aspects of Rothschild's career Correspondence with Atlanta Constitution editor Ralph McGill and others dating from the late 1940's documents the rabbi's support for the civil rights movement. The early letters also reveal the opposition Rothschild faced as a result of his support for civil rights. Although no one was convicted of bombing the Temple in October 1958, it was widely assumed that anti-semitic segregationists were responsible. (See Series 4, Newspaper Clippings, for full accounts of the incident. See also Series 7 for a brief television interview about the bombing.) A heavy concentration of correspondence for late 1958 and early l959 following the Temple bombing provides perspectives on the thoughts of the rabbi and his correspondents regarding civil rights and the acts of terrorism spawned by opposition to integration. The 1958 letters also show how the Temple bombing propelled Rothschild into regional and national prominence. Beginning in 1963, correspondence with Martin Luther King, Jr., documents Rothschild's concern for the achievement of social justice. The letters also trace the growth of friendship and cooperation between the two clergymen. A five-page letter (28 September l967) from King reveals aspects of relations between black and Jewish civil rights leaders, while the November 1964-February 1965 correspondence with Atlanta leaders regarding King's receipt of the Nobel Peace Prize affords a glimpse into attitudes about the civil rights movement in general and about King in particular. Other materials regarding the King dinner, including a list of sponsors, is included with this correspondence. (See also Series 3, Writings, and Series 4, Photographs and Audiovisual Materials.) Rothschild's correspondence documents his activity in Atlanta's social and political life. For example, the correspondence for October and November 1966 reveals the difficulty he had taking a public position regarding the controversial 1966 gubernatorial election. The correspondence series contains many other clusters of letters that show him debating decisions about secular events. Material in Series 3 (Writings) provides additional information on the positions Rothschild took on various social and political issues. Rothschild placed considerable importance on his relationships with Atlanta-area clergymen and educators. His correspondence contains many exchanges with religious leaders and teachers such as Catholic Archbishop Paul J. Hallinan and Emory University Professor Jack Boozer. (See Correspondence Index by Name to identify similar sequences.) These and similar series of letters provide perspectives on changes in Atlanta's social landscape and reveal the political roles of southern religious and political leaders. Similarly, relations between the Jewish and Christian communities is a theme that runs through the entire correspondence series. Rothschild's letters, as well as his writings in Series 3, show that, although he cultivated professional and personal friendships with gentiles, he did not avoid confronting difficulties when they arose. Correspondence with Emory University administrators and faculty testifies to the value he placed on such connections; at the same time, an exchange of letters in 1961 shows his clear opposition to anti-semitism in educational institutions. Rothschild apparently discarded the hate mail he must have received at times, but other material regarding Jewish and Christian relations can be found in the following periods: October-December 1958 (Temple bombing); January 1965 (King dinner); and April 1973 (Christian evangelism). Issues of concern to Reform Jews such as intermarriage, Jewish education, anti-semitism, church and state relations, the state of Israel, and the status of Soviet Jewry figure largely in this series. Involving himself in the activities of Jewish organizations, particularly the Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR) and the Union of American Hebrew Congregations (UAHC), Rothschild conducted lengthy exchanges about Jewish life and religion with rabbis across the country. (See Correspondence Index by Topic to follow particular issues). He stayed in especially close contact with Maurice Eisendrath, UAHC president; with Jacob Marcus, head of the American Jewish Archives; and with his mentor and noted Talmudic scholar, Solomon B. Freehof. Selective indexes by name of correspondent and by topic are available for the correspondence series. The selection of names and topics to be listed occurred during the examination of the letters and was based on the frequency, the importance to Rothschild and/or the papers, and the relationship to other collections in the Special Collections Department. These indexes are filed separately from this guide and are available upon request. It is important to note that, while the indexes will be helpful in identifying particular correspondents or specific areas of interest, they are not exhaustive. In-depth research will require an examination of the series contents.
Box Folder Content
2 1 1946
2 2 1947-1949
2 3 1950 January-April
2 4 1950 May-July
2 5 1950 August-December
2 6 1951 January-June
2 7 1951 July-December
2 8 1952 January-June
2 9 1952 July-September
2 10 1952 October-December
2 11 1953 January-February
2 12 1953 March-April
2 13 1953 May-September
2 14 1953 October-December
3 1 1954 January-August
3 2 1955
3 3 1956
3 4 1957 January-August
3 5 1957 September
3 6 1957 October
3 7 1957 November-December
3 8 1958 January
3 9 1958 February-September
3 10 1958 October 12
3 11-12 1958 October 13
4 1-2 1958 October 14
4 3 1958 October 15
4 4 1958 October 16
4 5 1958 October 17
4 6 1958 October 18-19
4 7 1958 October 20-21
4 8 1958 October 22-23
4 9 1958 October 24-26
4 10 1958 October 27-29
5 1 1958 October 30-31 and October undated
5 2 1958 November 1-5
5 3 1958 November 6-30 and November undated
5 4 1958 December and undated
5 5 1958 undated
5 6 1959
5 7 1960
5 8 1961
OP1 - Uniongram, National Federation of Temple Sisterhoods, UAHC, [April 1961]
5 9 1962
6 1 1963 January-June
6 2 1963 July-September
6 3 1963 October-December and undated
6 4 1964 January-June
6 5 1964 July-December
6 6 1965 January-February
6 7 1965 March-July
6 8 1965 August-December
7 1 1966 January-June
7 2 1966 July-September
7 3 1966 October-December and undated
7 4 1967 January-March
7 5 1967 April
7 6 1967 May-August
8 1 1967 September-October
8 2 1967 November-December
8 3 1968 January-March
8 4 1968 April-June
8 5 1968 July-September
8 6 1968 October-December
8 7 1969 January-February
8 8 1969 March-May
9 1 1969 June-December and undated
9 2 1970 January-April
9 3 1970 May-August
9 4 1970 September-December
9 5 1971 January-March
9 6 1971 April 1-19
9 7 1971 April 20-31
9 8 1971 May-July
10 1 1971 August-December
10 2 1972 January-June
10 3 1972 July-December
10 4 1973 January
10 5 1973 February
10 6 1973 March-May
10 7 1973 June-September
10 8 1973 October-December
10 9 1973 undated
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