> With Our Compliments: Leader's Discussion Guide for As A Driven Leaf

About the Author

The legacy of Milton Steinberg (1903-1950) is secure, despite his tragically short life. At the time of his death, he had already established himself as a prominent figure in contemporary Judaism through his scholarship, writing, and leadership in the pulpit.

As a student at City College of New York, Steinberg studied under philosopher and critic Morris Raphael Cohen. During his years at the Jewish Theological Seminary, he was influenced by Mordecai Kaplan, the founder of Judaism's Reconstructionist movement. He received his rabbinic ordination from JTS in 1928.

Steinberg wrote his works of fiction and theology while serving as rabbi of New York's prestigious Park Avenue Synagogue, a post he accepted in 1933. He was prolific during his tenure there, publishing The Making of the Modern Jew, Basic Judaism, A Partisan Guide to the Jewish Problem, and A Believing Jew. As A Driven Leaf, his only novel, was originally published in 1939 to critical acclaim. Steinberg served as the congregational leader of Park Avenue Synagogue until his death at the age of forty-six.

The author's untimely death invites inevitable speculation. Given his enormous contribution to Jewish life through scholarship, leadership at the pulpit, and--an impressive body of published writing--during such an abbreviated career, what might Milton Steinberg's legacy have been had he lived to an old age?