Lou Hackett Silberman Papers

 Collection
Identifier: MSS.0392

  • Staff Only

Overview

This collection contains the papers of Lou Hackett Silberman, longtime Hillel Professor of Jewish Literature and Thought at Vanderbilt University. Silberman also participated throughout his career in a variety of Hillel Foundation and other B'nai B'rith activities and was especially active in lecturing to various Jewish groups as well as in interreligious dialogue.

Dates

  • 1930s-1980

Language of Materials

English

Biographical / Historical

  • 1914 Born June 23, 1914 to Lou Harry and Myrtle Mueller Silberman in San Francisco, California. The Silberman family lived in San Francisco and in Los Angeles, California.
  • 1934 B.A., University of California, Berkeley in Philosophy.
  • 1934-35 Graduate student in Philosophy at University of California, Berkeley.
  • 1935-43 Student at Hebrew Union College, Cincinnati, Ohio. Silberman received the B.Heb.L. (1939), M.Heb.L. (1941), D.Heb.L. (1943). His doctoral work was on medieval Jewish apologetics and polemics. While at H.U.C., Silberman studied under the noted Jewish scholars Jacob Z. Lauterbach, Samuel S. Cohon, and Julian Morgenstern.
  • 1941-43 Fellow and Instructor in Medieval Exegesis, Hebrew Union College.
  • 1941 Ordained a Rabbi.
  • 1942 Married Helen Epstein on June 14, 1942. The Silbermans had two daughters, Syrl Augusta and Deborah Sue.
  • 1943-45 Assistant Rabbi, Temple Emanu-el, Dallas Texas.
  • 1945-52 Rabbi, Temple Israel, Omaha, Nebraska. Throughout his rabbinic and academic career, Silberman was involved in the affairs and institutions of Reform Judaism and he served the Central Conference of American Rabbis in a variety of capacities.
  • 1952-55 Associate Professor of Jewish Literature and Thought, Vanderbilt University. Silberman replaced Samuel Sandmel in a chair partially funded through the auspices of the Hillel Foundation of B’ nai B’ rith. Silberman also participated throughout his career in a variety of Hillel Foundation and other B’ nai B’ rith activities and was especially active in lecturing to various Jewish Groups as well as in interreligious dialogue.
  • 1955-80 Hillel Professor of Jewish Literature and Thought, Vanderbilt University.
  • 1959 Sabbatical at the University of Basel.
  • 1959-60 President, Society of Biblical Literature (Southern Section).
  • 1960 James Lawson expelled from Vanderbilt Divinity School for his Civil Rights activities. Silberman was a leader in the faculty efforts to restore Lawson and he was one of the faculty members to submit resignations when the efforts of the faculty failed. His social justice activities extended to the community as well where he served on the Metro Action Commission of Nashville and the Tennessee Council on Human Relations. In addition, he served for a time as Vice-Chair, National Community Relations Advisory Council.
  • 1960-61 Acting Chair, Graduate Department of Religion, Vanderbilt University.
  • 1960-65 Director of Graduate Studies in the Biblical Area, Graduate 1967-68 Department of Religion, Vanderbilt University.
  • 1965-66 Sabbatical, Visiting Professor, Judiastik Institut, University of Vienna.
  • 1972 Visiting Professor, Carleton College (Winter).
  • 1973 Visiting Professor, John Carroll University (Winter); Emory University (Spring).
  • 1978 Sabbatical, Visiting Professor, University of Chicago Divinity School (Winter-Spring); Visiting Scholar, Oxford Centre for Postgraduate Hebrew Studies (Summer).
  • 1979 Recipient, Thomas Jefferson Award, Vanderbilt University.
  • 1979 Death of wife, Helen Epstein Silberman, in late October.
  • 1980 Hillel Professor of Jewish Literature and Thought, Emeritus, Vanderbilt University.
  • 1980 Fellow, Toronto School of Theology.
  • 1981 Visiting Professor, Department of Oriental Languages, University of Arizona.
  • 1982 President, Society of Biblical Literature. Silberman was actively involved throughout his career in a number of scholarly societies including the Society of Biblical Literature, the American Academy of Religion, the American Society for the Study of Religion, the American Theological Society, the Association for Jewish Studies, and Studiorum Novi Testamenti Societas. In addition, he served on the Advisory Council on Theological Education of the Danforth Foundation.
1914
Born June 23, 1914 to Lou Harry and Myrtle Mueller Silberman in San Francisco, California. The Silberman family lived in San Francisco and in Los Angeles, California.
1934
B.A., University of California, Berkeley in Philosophy.
1934-35
Graduate student in Philosophy at University of California, Berkeley.
1935-43
Student at Hebrew Union College, Cincinnati, Ohio. Silberman received the B.Heb.L. (1939), M.Heb.L. (1941), D.Heb.L. (1943). His doctoral work was on medieval Jewish apologetics and polemics. While at H.U.C., Silberman studied under the noted Jewish scholars Jacob Z. Lauterbach, Samuel S. Cohon, and Julian Morgenstern.
1941-43
Fellow and Instructor in Medieval Exegesis, Hebrew Union College.
1941
Ordained a Rabbi.
1942
Married Helen Epstein on June 14, 1942. The Silbermans had two daughters, Syrl Augusta and Deborah Sue.
1943-45
Assistant Rabbi, Temple Emanu-el, Dallas Texas.
1945-52
Rabbi, Temple Israel, Omaha, Nebraska. Throughout his rabbinic and academic career, Silberman was involved in the affairs and institutions of Reform Judaism and he served the Central Conference of American Rabbis in a variety of capacities.
1952-55
Associate Professor of Jewish Literature and Thought, Vanderbilt University. Silberman replaced Samuel Sandmel in a chair partially funded through the auspices of the Hillel Foundation of B’ nai B’ rith. Silberman also participated throughout his career in a variety of Hillel Foundation and other B’ nai B’ rith activities and was especially active in lecturing to various Jewish Groups as well as in interreligious dialogue.
1955-80
Hillel Professor of Jewish Literature and Thought, Vanderbilt University.
1959
Sabbatical at the University of Basel.
1959-60
President, Society of Biblical Literature (Southern Section).
1960
James Lawson expelled from Vanderbilt Divinity School for his Civil Rights activities. Silberman was a leader in the faculty efforts to restore Lawson and he was one of the faculty members to submit resignations when the efforts of the faculty failed. His social justice activities extended to the community as well where he served on the Metro Action Commission of Nashville and the Tennessee Council on Human Relations. In addition, he served for a time as Vice-Chair, National Community Relations Advisory Council.
1960-61
Acting Chair, Graduate Department of Religion, Vanderbilt University.
1960-65
Director of Graduate Studies in the Biblical Area, Graduate 1967-68 Department of Religion, Vanderbilt University.
1965-66
Sabbatical, Visiting Professor, Judiastik Institut, University of Vienna.
1972
Visiting Professor, Carleton College (Winter).
1973
Visiting Professor, John Carroll University (Winter); Emory University (Spring).
1978
Sabbatical, Visiting Professor, University of Chicago Divinity School (Winter-Spring); Visiting Scholar, Oxford Centre for Postgraduate Hebrew Studies (Summer).
1979
Recipient, Thomas Jefferson Award, Vanderbilt University.
1979
Death of wife, Helen Epstein Silberman, in late October.
1980
Hillel Professor of Jewish Literature and Thought, Emeritus, Vanderbilt University.
1980
Fellow, Toronto School of Theology.
1981
Visiting Professor, Department of Oriental Languages, University of Arizona.
1982
President, Society of Biblical Literature. Silberman was actively involved throughout his career in a number of scholarly societies including the Society of Biblical Literature, the American Academy of Religion, the American Society for the Study of Religion, the American Theological Society, the Association for Jewish Studies, and Studiorum Novi Testamenti Societas. In addition, he served on the Advisory Council on Theological Education of the Danforth Foundation.

Extent

20.56 Linear Feet

Arrangement

List of acronyms and their meaning:

AAR

AOL

AJC

AJS

ASSR

ATS

AZA

BBYO

BTI

CARA

CCAR

CJF

CJT

CSRE

CSTS

HUC

IJF

IRJT

ISCP

ITESS

JAAR

JWF

JUUU

MAC

NAJCC

NCC

NCRAC

NCRC

OEC

REA

RRC

SBL

SNTS

SORJ

SUNY

TCHR

UAHC

UTS

WCC-IJCIC

Physical Location

Offsite Storage, Special Collections & Archives
Title
Finding Aid for the Lou Hackett Silberman
Status
Completed
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin

Repository Details

Part of the Vanderbilt University Special Collections Repository

Contact:
Jean and Alexander Heard Library
419 21st Avenue South
Nashville TN 37203 United States


 

About this Site

This site contains collection guides, or finding aids, to the archival collections held by Vanderbilt University Special Collections and University Archives, the History of Medicine Collection, and the Scarritt Bennett Center. Finding aids describe the context, arrangement, and structure of archival materials, allowing users to identify and request materials relevant to their research.

Requesting Materials

Each finding aid contains a link to request materials from the collections. Collections can also be requested by emailing the repository directly through the library website. Each repository has its own location, hours, and contact information. Please consult the repository with questions about using the materials. Collections are non-circulating and must be used in the repository’s reading room. In many cases, the collections are stored off-site and require advance notice for retrieval.