The Encyclopedia Americana (1920)/Kohler, Kaufmann
KOHLER, Kaufmann, American rabbi: b. Fürth, Bavaria, 10 May 1843. After completing his studies at the universities of Munich, Berlin and Leipzig, he was chosen as rabbi in Detroit in 1869, and two years later elected rabbi of Temple Sinai, Chicago, where he introduced Sunday lectures, a novelty in those days. In 1879 he was called to Temple Beth El, New York. At his initiative in 1885 a rabbinical conference was held at Pittsburgh, Pa., which formulated a platform for Reformed Judaism. In later years he frankly receded from the radical standpoint and assumed a more conservative position. In 1903 he was elected president of the Hebrew Union College. He has been a frequent contributor to the Jewish press, edited the Sabbath Visitor (1881-82), the Jewish Reformer (1886), was one of the editors of the 'Jewish Encyclopaedia,' and in addition to various volumes and critical papers has written 'Der Segen Jakobs' (1868); 'Guide to Instructions in Judaism' (1900); 'On Capital Punishment' (1869); 'On Song of Songs' (1877); 'Ethical Basis of Judaism' (1877); 'Backwards or Forwards — Lectures on Reform Judaism' (1885); 'Church and Synagogue in their Mutual Relations' (1889); 'Systematische Theologie des Judentums auf geschichtlicher Grundlage' (1909); 'Well of Living Waters' (1916).