Simcha Kling (1922 or 23-1991), Papers.

  • Dates: 1945-1987
  • Size: .4 linear ft.
  • Number of Boxes: 1
  • Languages:
    • English
    • Hebrew
  • Location: Special Collections Reading Room, Jewish Theological Seminary Library.
  • Restrictions: Reproduction of fragile items is not permitted; consult the archivist about literary rights.

CEK, 3/15/91; YML, 6/24/92

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

Rabbi Simcha Kling was born in 1922 or 1923 in Fort Thomas, Kentucky. He was ordained by The Jewish Theological Seminary in 1948. He additionally earned a masters degree from Columbia University and a doctorate from the Seminary. He served as rabbi of the Greensboro Conservative Hebrew Congregation in Greensboro, North Carolina, B'nai Amoona in St. Louis, and Congregation Adath Jeshurun in Louisville, Kentucky. He was the author of Embracing Judaism, a publication of the Rabbinical Assembly of America dealing with conversion, and of several books. Rabbi Kling was also a teacher and translator of Hebrew literature. He was a supporter of Zionism and wrote on Ahad Ha'am and Nahum Sokolow. Rabbi Kling died in March, 1991.

Collection Description

This group of Rabbi Kling's papers, which consists entirely of photocopies, includes correspondence; materials by and about Kling's teacher at the Jewish Theological Seminary, Mordecai Kaplan; reports, correspondence and speeches documenting Rabbinical Assembly activities; reports written while serving as rabbi at Congregation B'nai Amoona, Greensboro Conservative Hebrew Congregation and Congregation Adath Jeshurun; and typescripts of speeches, lectures, sermons, reports, and other addresses.

Included is Rabbi Kling's correspondence with JTS faculty members and administrators Hillel Bavli, Gerson Cohen, Louis Finkelstein, Robert Gordis, Abraham Joshua Heschel and Mordecai Kaplan. Correspondence with Gerson Cohen, 1948-1950 (in Hebrew) relates to Rabbi Kling's writings on Ahad Ha'am, Nahum Sokolow, Zionism, the possibility of ordaining women as rabbis, and personal matters. Kling's correspondence with Louis Finkelstein, 1948-1968, includes letters relating to the Herbert H. Lehman Institute on Ethics, the Conference on the Moral Implications of the Rabbinate, and a letter about Mordecai Kaplan's decision to resign from the Seminary. Correspondence with Hillel Bavli, ca.1954-1958, deals with Rabbi Kling's work on Ahad Ha'am and Nahum Sokolow. The Gordis, 1954-1987, and Heschel, 1945-1968, correspondence is personal in nature. There is also correspondence documenting Rabbi Kling's efforts to publish his work in The Reconstructionist. Rabbi Kling was involved in the Rabbinical Assembly from 1956-1984. He maintained a strong connection to the Rabbinical Assembly through frequent correspondence, included here, with its executive vice-president Wolfe Kelman.

Typescripts of speeches and other addresses included here consist of: two addresses to the North Carolina Jewish Education Conference attended by Reform, Conservative, and Orthodox rabbis on the function of the rabbi in education; a talk on teaching delivered at the Herbert H. Lehman Institute on Ethics in 1964; a talk to the Kentuckiana Interfaith Community on the "Theology of the Ministry," 1982; and talks to the Rabbinical Assembly and United Synagogue on his sabbatical year in Israel and the Conservative movement's place in Israel, 1964.

In his annual reports, 1951-1982, Rabbi Kling provides information about how his congregations fared during the year in the areas of: Hebrew school, religious services, community work, youth activities, and activities relating to the Jewish Theological Seminary, United Synagogue, National Federation of Jewish Men's Clubs and the Womens' League.

Kling's Mordecai Kaplan file includes typescripts of tributes delivered by Rabbi Kling on the occasion of Kaplan's 85th, 95th, and 100th birthdays, and correspondence, 1955-1975, with Kaplan of a personal and rabbinical nature.

Series List

  • I. Annual Congregational Reports, 1951-1982
  • II. Correspondence, 1945-1987
  • III. Mordecai Kaplan, 1946-1980
  • IV. Rabbinical Assembly, 1956-1984
  • V. Speeches and Other Addresses, 1955-1986

Box List

Box  Folder(s)  Description 
1 1-2  I. Annual Congregational Reports, 1951-1982
  II. Correspondence, 1945-1987
 3 Bavli, Hillel
 4 Cohen, Gerson
 5 Finkelstein, Louis
 6 Gordis, Robert
 7 Heschel, A.J.
 8 General
 9 III. Mordecai Kaplan, 1946-1980
  IV. Rabbinical Assembly, 1956-1984
 10 Reports, 1956-1979
 11 Wolfe Kelman correspondence, 1956-1971
 12 General correspondence, 1952-1984
  V. Speeches and Other Addresses, 1955-1986
 13 Rabbinical Assembly and United Synagoge convention reports
 14 Speeches and other addresses