Philip Lewin



Philip Lewin served for six years as President of Keneseth Israel.  At the beginning of his term, Rabbi Krauskopf requested that the congregation hire an associate rabbi. Lewin hired Rabbi J. Leonard Levy for the position, which began on April 24, 1893. The religious school continued to grow, as well. Classes were moved from Saturday to Sunday, and in 1895 the Alumni of Keneseth Israel was founded to build ongoing support for the school. The first post-Confirmation class was formed in 1895, in partnership with Rodeph Shalom.

Philip Lewin was born on September 18, 1836 in Neustadt, Prussia. His father was the Rabbi of the congregation in Neustadt for some time, and Philip Lewin worked in the magistrate’s office. When he was 17, he moved to Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England, where he lived for two years with his older brothers before immigrating to Chicago. In 1859 he moved to the American South, and in 1861 he moved to Green Bay, Wisconsin, where he was a partner in the business firm Hoffman & Lewin. He married Hannah Rosenbaum in 1865. Finally, in 1869 he moved to Philadelphia and became a partner in Saller, Lewin & Company, a wholesale boot and shoe manufacturing house. In Philadelphia, Lewin was heavily engaged in Jewish communal and charitable life. In addition to serving as president of Keneseth Israel, he was also president of the Hebrew Charity Ball Association and a member of the Board of Directors of the Jewish Foster Home, Orphans’ Guardians, and the Hebrew Union College. From 1874 to 1894 he served as treasurer of the Jewish Foster Home, and he was a member of many other Jewish charitable institutions. Later in his life, he ran a business called Philip Lewin & Sons, based at 923 Arch Street, where he sold gas lamps. He lived at 948 Franklin Street. On March 26, 1898, while still serving as president of Keneseth Israel, Lewin died from paralysis of the heart. He is buried at Mt. Sinai Cemetery.