Search This Blog

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Clarence L. Coleman, Jr. (Jew)

Clarence L. Coleman, Jr., (born on August 31, 1903 in Chicago, died La Quinta, California at the age of 93 on January 11, 1997). long time Chairman of the Board of the American Council for Judaism and a leader from the earliest days of the effort to promote a universal Judaism free of nationalism.   He was a 1924 graduate of Princeton University and was the owner of Coleman Floor Coverings for 55 years. For more than 50 years he was a member of the board of directors of the Old Republic Insurance Company. His avocations included poetry and photography. He was on the board of directors of the La Quinta Country Club for more than 25 years and was the official photographer for the City of La Quinta for the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic golf tournament for many years. He was dedicated to classical Reform Judaism which, in many ways, represented the most important commitment of his life. He was a founding member of Lakeside Congregation in Highland Park, Illinois and was an active member of the American Council for Judaism almost from its earliest years. He served as President before becoming Chairman of the Board. (see: ).

Clarence Coleman on being an American a Jew and an anti-Zionist (1959): “"I am an American and a Jew. I am an anti-Zionist. While some find this a negative term, I personally find strong, positive connotations, having to do with my interpretation of the universal, prophetic Judaism which the Council seeks to articulate. I would recognize no ‘Yalu Rivers’ — no limitations on our activities directed to the removal of Zionism and its influences from the lives and the institutions of American Jews, except, as I am able to determine, the danger which may result for the totality of American Jewry because of any specific act or statement of the Council…   I am against every force or influence at work in the lives of American Jews which tends to separate and segregate them, in areas other than their religious beliefs, from their fellow Americans; if this force or influence has its roots in Israel I am willing to pursue the generating power there or elsewhere. To whatever extent it can be clearly established that force or influence seeks to involve Jews in America in the politics of the Middle East, then I conceive it to be the duty of the Council to do with dignity and precision what can be done to rectify this situation, to disengage American Jews from a political involvement not required by their religious faith. I am for every program that will make better understood our meaning of Judaism and will advance the historic process of integration, in the secular and political sense, of American Jews. This is, broadly, the formula which I will attempt to apply to the direction of American Council for Judaism programs in the field of Public Affairs and the other areas of our concern." [1].

[1]. Clarence Coleman (1959) quoted in “The Legacy of Clarence L. Coleman, Jr. 1903–1997”, American Council For Judaism, Issues, Winter 1997: .

No comments:

Post a Comment