Jesse Finkle, Papers

  • Dates: ca. 1937-1967
  • Size: 5.4 linear ft.
  • Number of Boxes: 5
  • Languages:
    • English
    • Hebrew
    • Yiddish
  • Location: Special Collections Reading Room, Jewish Theological Seminary Library.
  • Restrictions: Reproduction of fragile items is not permitted; consult the archivist about literary rights.
  • Gift Of: Anne S. Finkle
  • Date: 1991

YML; 6/30/92

Table of Contents:

A Note on Folder Headings

Individual folders are identified in the following way on the left side of each folder: Name of Collection, box #/folder#, as in Ben Zion Bokser Papers, 4/22. Please use this format in citations and when referring to files for any other reason.

Biographical Note

Born in Philadelphia, Jesse Finkle attended the University of Pennsylvania and Gratz College, and was ordained in 1937 by The Jewish Theological Seminary of America. Rabbi Finkle began his career at Rodef Sholom in Newport News, Virginia the year he was ordained and remained there until 1967. During the war he contributed a minute prayer for a radio show of the Mutual Broadcasting Company. The prayer was later incorporated into a book of 365 minute prayers of all religions. In 1943 Rabbi Finkle enlisted in the U.S. Army, serving first in active duty, then, in 1944-1945, as a chaplain in the Philippines.

Finkle was founder and president of the Mental Hygiene Clinic of Newport News, Virginia. He served on the board of the Peninsula Boy Scout Council where he was awarded the Silver Beaver Award as well as the George Washington Honor Medal for promoting the American way of life. Rabbi Finkle served as auxiliary Jewish Chaplain at Hampton Veterans Administration Center and as Hillel counselor for Jewish students at the College of William and Mary. He was the representative of National Scouting for the Seminary and was the the first Jewish chaplain at the International Jamboree in Washington D.C. in 1935. Rabbi Finkle died during the late 1970s.

Collection Description

Rabbi Jesse Finkle's papers consist of clippings on a variety of topics gathered to serve as sermon resource material; typescripts of sermons delivered by Rabbi Finkle at Rodef Sholom in Newport News, Virginia; invitations, pamphlets, and newsletters from Congregation Rodfei Sholom - Oir Chodosh in Chicago (that synagogue's relationship to Rabbi Finkle is unclear); and some miscellaneous material consisting of a 1965 Rodef Sholom golden Jubilee volume, photographs, clippings, and printed material.

Sermons are divided into weekly sermons (Torah portions), and those delivered on Selichot, the High Holidays, and Sukkot which are organized by year, 1937-1967.

The subjects of the clippings include: Torah portions, books of the Bible, holidays, shabbat, Jewish life cycle, halachic rulings, the Dead Sea Scrolls, prayers in time of war, the commentary of Nechama Leibowitz on the Torah, pastoral counselling, Israel, and the New Testament.

Photographs are mainly of Rabbi Finkle in his duties as auxiliary chaplain.

A Hertz Pentateuch in which Rabbi Finkle made notes and glued articles is included. The printed material consists of meditations on lighting yahrzeit candles, New Testament booklets, Rabbi Finkle's obituaries and sermons delivered by Rabbi Finkle on Veteran's day at Rodeph Sholom and at an Elk Lodge memorial.

Series List

  • I. Clippings, ca.1937-1967
  • II. Sermons, ca.1937-1967
  • III. Rodfei Sholom-Oir Chodosh, Chicago, 1956-1968
  • IV. Miscellaneous Papers, ca.1937-1967.

Box List

Box  Folder(s)  Description 
  I. Clippings, ca. 1937-1967
1 1-17  A - G
2 1-17 G - S
3 1-3 S - V
  II. Sermons, ca. 1937-1967
 4-19 Weekly sermons, Janurary - May
4 1-8 Weekly sermons, June - December
 9-36 High Holiday sermons, 1937-1967
  III. Rodfei Sholom - OIR Chodosh, Chicago, 1956-1968
5 1 Invitations and Pamphlets
 2-3 Rodfei Sholom - Oir Chodosh News, 1956-1961
  IV. Miscellaneous Papers, ca. 1937-1967
 4 Christian printed material
 5 Clippings
 6 Golden Jubilee Celebration volume, Rodef Sholom Temple, 1965
 7 Hertz Chumash - Genesis 1:1 - 9:29, with notes
 8 Meditations on lighting Yahrzeit candles, printed material
 9 Obituaries of Rabbi Finkle
 10 Photographs
 11 Rabbi Finkle's papers while a student.
 12 Sermonic Talks on Jewish Ideas and Ideals For Lay Leaders in the Armed Forces of the United States, Commission on Jewish Chaplaincy, National Jewish Welfare Board, 1967
 13 Typescripts of speeches - memorials, Veteran's Day, others