Joseph Wiesenberg (1914-1991), Papers.

  • Dates: ca. 1948-1992
  • Size: .1 linear ft.
  • Number of Folders: 5
  • Languages: English
  • 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: Eva Wiesenberg
  • Date: August 1, 1994

MCS, 10/28/94

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 Joseph Wiesenberg was born in 1914 in Kosice, Slovakia. Ordained in Bratislava in 1937, he studied at University College, London, 1937-1940. He joined the conservative rabbinate upon coming to North America, leading congregations in Hibbing, Minnesota, Chicago, and Calgary before being named in 1961 to head the Central States Region of the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, headquartered in Minneapolis, where he also led B'nai Emet Congregation. While in Minneapolis, "Rabbi Joe" was the regional director of United Synagogue Youth. He received an honorary doctorate from The Jewish Theological Seminary in 1980. After his retirement, he continued to serve as chaplain at the Shalom Home, a Jewish nursing home in St. Paul, Minnesota. He died in 1991.

Collection Description

The papers of Rabbi Joseph Wiesenberg consist of five folders containing sermon notes, awards and letters of commendation, news clippings, and photographs and drawings, accumulated during his career. There is also a typed history written by Rabbi Wiesenberg chronicling the Jews of Kosice, Slovakia.

The awards include Rabbi Wiesenberg's doctorate from the Jewish Theological Seminary, 1980 and a pamphlet commemorating the naming of a Minneapolis youth group "Rabbi Joe's Mitzvah Corps" in his honor in 1992. Letters of commendation include a 1951 farewell note from a Hibbing radio station and a letter from presidential candidate Ronald Reagan, 1980. News clippings documenting Rabbi Wiesenberg's activities are from newspapers in Calgary and Chicago, the Jewish World, the newsletter of the Central States Region of the United Synagogue, and an English newspaper reporting on Wiesenberg's 1989 visit there. Photographs and drawings, 1948-1989, include portraits of Rabbi Wiesenberg, and also show him participating in synagogue activities and in interfaith activities, ca. 1940s. Of note is a photograph showing Rabbi Wiesenberg leading an interfaith group on a tour of Chicago slum housing, ca, 1950. Descriptions of photographs have been added to the Ratner Center photograph database.

Box List

Folder(s)  Description 
1 Awards and letters of commendation, 1951-1992
2 History of the Kosice Jewish community, n.d.
3 News clippings, 1955-1984
4 Photographs, 1948-1994
5 Sermon notes, n.d.