RABBI ISAAC LEUCHT 2018-07-31T13:06:14-05:00

Project Description

THE ICON: Rabbi Isaac Leucht

THE LEGACY: Above all else, Isaac Leucht was a uniter. A German immigrant who came to New Orleans in 1868 to serve as an assistant rabbi at Congregation Gates of Mercy, he in short order set about arranging for the merger of Gates of Mercy with Congregation Dispersed of Judah to form Touro Synagogue. But if that’s his most conspicuous legacy, it was by no means his only one. In his nearly 50 years leading the local Jewish community, he spearheaded a dizzying array of charity work and community projects to benefit all religious denominations. “So many memorials of his charity and of his philanthropy exist in New Orleans,” The Times-Picayune wrote upon his 1914 death, “that one might engrave on his tomb, as a former generation engraved on the tomb of Sir Christopher Wren, ‘Si monumentum requiris, circumspice.'” Translation: “If you seek his monument, look around.”

THE ARTIST: Sean Randall

THE INSPIRATION: “With what life I shall yet be given I intend to work for the attainment of one thing: the tearing down of the wall that stands between Jew and Gentile. All my life I have labored at this purpose. There is one God; there should be one brotherhood.” — Rabbi Isaac Leucht at his 70th birthday celebration at Touro Synagogue in New Orleans, five months before his death