Isaac Leeser, circa 1868.
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 Isaac Leeser (1806-1868), half-length portrait, left profile.

Credit: Library of Congress

A brilliant theologian and social activist, Isaac Leeser led the Jewish Congregation Mikveh Israel between 1829 and 1850, during which time he also furthered Jewish benevolent and educational programs in the greater Philadelphia area. Sensitive to discrimination against other groups, Leeser was an articulate advocate for greater Jewish presence in Philadelphia’s diverse civic life.

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