Courtesy of Library of Congress

Solomon Schechter 1847-1915

Some 76 Conservative Jewish day schools across North America carry the name of Solomon Schechter, an educator and scholar regarded as the founder and architect of Conservative Judaism. A native of Romania, Schechter rose to prominence in Europe, where he served as a lecturer in talmudics and reader in rabbinics at Cambridge University. He gained international fame when he traveled to Cairo, where he salvaged thousands of pages from the famed Cairo Genizah, a repository of rare Hebrew manuscripts. In 1902 Schechter accepted an invitation to serve as president of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America in New York, where he remained until his death. In 1913, he helped to launch United Synagogue of America, now United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, the umbrella organization for Conservative congregations.