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The Jewish Theolgical Seminary was founded in 1886, but after the death in 1897 of Sabato Morais, its first president, it began to founder. In 1901 Cyrus Adler (who succeeded Solomon Schechter as president of JTS), convinced Jacob Schiff and other New York German Jewish philanthropists to endow the institution for $200,000, and afterwards to raise the sum to $500,000. With this support the Seminary was reorganized in 1902 and Solomon Schechter arrived to head it the same year.
Included are four legal documents recording the establishment of the Jewish Theological Seminary's endowment fund in 1901, and additions to it in 1902. The first is an agreement, October 28, 1901, signed by Jacob Schiff, Leonard Lewisohn, Daniel Guggenheim, Simon Guggenheim, Louis Marshall, Mayer Sulzberger, Cyrus Adler, Felix Warburg, and Adolphus Solomons. This document establishes the original $200,000 endowment fund for JTS.
The three other documents are triplicates - although there are some differences between them - of an agreement signed on June 2, 1902 by Jacob Schiff, Felix Warburg, Louis Marshall, James Loeb, Simon Guggenheim, Daniel Guggenheim, Philip S. Henry, and others, agreeing to contribute sums of money to increase the Seminary's endowment to $500,000. The other signers represent a display of support for the Seminary by members of the New York and Philadelphia German-Jewish communities, and include members of the Bloomingdale, Lehman, Loeb, Morgenthau, Seligman, Straus, Sulzberger, Untermyer, and other families.