The Malino Collection

The Malino Collection of photos documents the state of Israel during its first decade of existence


The photos were taken by Rabbi Jerome R. Malino, father of Frances Malino, the former Sophia Moses Robison Professor of Jewish Studies and History at Wellesley College, on his first trip to Israel in 1955-6.

Rabbi Jerome R. Malino was, for many decades, the rabbi of the United Jewish Center in Danbury, CT. Both the United Jewish Center and Rabbi Malino were unusual in their ability to combine what for most congregations and rabbis are irreconcilable tendencies. For much of its history, The United Jewish Center was a congregation of Reform, Conservative and Orthodox Jews. Worship services on Shabbat eve were Reform; on Shabbat morning they were Orthodox. This reflected the rabbinical training Rabbi Malino received at the Jewish Institute of Religion (JIR) in New York, from which he was ordained in 1935. The mission of the JIR was to serve the entirety of the Jewish community (Clal Yisrael), and it trained rabbis to serve congregations of all stripes.

The JIR was also a strongly Zionist institution, whose founder, Stephen S. Wise was one of the great American rabbis of the Twentieth Century and a leader of American Zionism. Rabbi Malino imbibed Wise’s Zionism, along with his conception of the rabbinate as a platform from which to issue prophetic calls for justice in all areas of society.

Rabbi Malino first visited Israel in 1956. Together with his family he lived and studied in Jerusalem for five months. In 1965 Rabbi Malino and his wife, Rhoda, returned to Jerusalem for three months. For the next two decades, they spent a month in Jerusalem every other year. Throughout his life, during which he served as President of the Central Conference of American Rabbis, Rabbi Malino combined a love for Israel with a relentless call for justice in its dealings with Palestinians.

Rabbi Malino used the slides in the Malino Collection when he lectured about his initial trips to Israel.