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Leo M. Franklin Edit Profile


Leo Morris Franklin was an influential rabbi from Detroit, who headed that city's Temple Beth El from 1899 to 1941.


Franklin, Leo M. was born on March 5, 1870 in Cambridge City, Indiana, United States. Son of Michael H. and Rachel (Levy) Franklin.


As a teenager, Franklin attended both the University of Cincinnati and Hebrew Union College simultaneously. In 1892, he graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Cincinnati; in the same year, he graduated from Hebrew Union (as the only member of his class), and was ordained as a rabbi. He was immediately invited to serve the Temple Israel in Omaha, Nebraska.


Rabbi, Temple Israel, Omaha, 1892-1899, Temple Beth El, Detroit, Michigan, 1899-1841, rabbi of emeritus since 1941. President of Detroit Public Library, 1928-1934, 1939. Chairman of book committee since 1929.

Trustee of Detroit Symphony Orchestra since 1924. Trustee of Detroit Historical Society since 1940, Citizens’ Housing and Planning Commission since 1939. Director of World Union of Progressiye Judaism, 1926.

Chairman of Tract Commission of Union American Hebrew Congregations and Central Conference of America Rabbis.


Member Central Conference American Rabbis (ex-president), Hebrew Union College Alumni Association (ex-president). Wrote: Christ and Christianity from the Standpoint of the Modern Jew. Clubs: Economics, Wranglers, Great Lakes, Franklin Hills Country, Torch.

Member Eugene Field Society, honorary. Member International Mark Twain Society.


Married Hattie M. Oberfelder, July 15, 1896. Children: Ruth Lucile (Mistress.

Michael H. Franklin

Rachel (Levy) Franklin

Hattie M. Oberfelder

Ruth Lucile (Mrs Franklin