Mailing Address:
Special Collections
College of Charleston Library
66 George Street
Charleston, SC 29424

(843) 953-8016

Title: Institute of Creative Judaism papers

Collection #: Mss 1003

Size: 1 linear ft.

Biographical Note: The Institute of Creative Judaism (described as a think-tank for Liberal or Reform Judaism) was founded in 1971 as a research and development organization "to produce and distribute educational, ritual and liturgical materials for a free or Polydox community." The Institute sponsored the Polydox (as opposed to Orthodox) Jewish Confederation, "the only national Jewish community based on explicitly stated liberal principles. These principles," according to promotional information, "provide the first fundamentally new reorganization of the Jewish community in some 2000 years." The organization appears to have ceased functioning by about 1985.

Scope and Content Note:

Organizational papers, correspondence, lists, promotional materials, publications and related materials (1972-1984).

Papers of the Institute comprise three short series. The first series, correspondence (1972-1984, 1989), consists mostly of photocopies of letters, etc., sent to early members and founders, with some original letters included as well. The major correspondents are Rabbi Anthony Holz (b. 1942) and Rabbi Alvin J. Reines (b. 1926). The correspondence regards founding and running the organization, with many letters of resignation and protest regarding Reines's policies.

Organization papers (1972-1984) include photocopies of incorporation papers, founding principles, regulations, notes on annual gatherings, lists of various names of members and contacts, including promotional contacts, some issue papers, such as that of women rabbis and religious education, and copies of journal and newspaper articles on the Institute and Judaism.

Publications include a broken run (1976-1985) of the newsletter The Communicator, one issue (Vol. 4, no. 2) of Polydoxy, and one issue (Vol. 1, no. 1, 1983) of Autonomy; liturgical pamphlets on various services, holidays, and related religious and cultural issues. Also included is Elements in a philosophy of Reform Judaism, by Alvin J. Reines.


  1. Correspondence of founders and office holders of ICJ discussing issues, meetings, finances, business, resignations and removals, etc. With copies of some mailings to members.
  2. 1972-1975 1/1

    1978-1979 1/2

    1980-1981 1/3

    1982 1/4

    1983-1984, 1989 1/5

    Misc. letters, undated, and related materials 1/6

  3. Organizational Papers
  4. Photocopies of incorporation papers, summaries of founding principals, regulations, proposals, task and resource lists, etc. 1/7

    Miscellaneous papers of Anthony Holz 1/8

    Promotional and publicity and public relations materials 1/9

    Issue papers and essays re Polydox Judaism, women rabbis, repgious education, who is a Jew, etc. 1/10

    Lists of names, including press contacts, those attending meetings, members, etc. 2/1

    Clippings and photocopies of journal and newspaper articles on Jewish and ICJ topics 2/2

  5. Publications
  6. "The Communicator" Newsletter (broken set, 1976 ?1985) 2/3

    Polydoxy Publications: Polydoxy (Vol. 4, no.2, 1979) and Autonomy (vol. 1, No. 1, 1983) 2/4

    Publications on various subjects: Joseph: The Hebrews Come to Egypt; An Equivocal Wedding Service; Ennomination Ceremony; Common Service; Funeral and Memorial Service; Concise Guide to Chanukah; Polydox Ceremony; Yom Kippur Service; Havdalah Service; Questions & Answers re Polydoxy; Passover Haggadah; Rosh Hashanah; Personhood and Freedom Service. 2/5

    Elements in a Philosophy of Reform Judaism by Alvin J. Reines 2/6