The mission of this blog is to acquaint a larger audience with the deeply perceptive and still-relevant teachings of Rabbi Levi A. Olan (1903-1984) as preserved in The Levi A. Olan Sermons and Images at Bridwell Library Digital Collection.
Throughout his career at Temple Emanu-El in Dallas (1949-1970), Rabbi Olan recorded sermons for broadcast on local radio stations as part of The Temple Emanu-El Program. These radio sermons, broadcast on Sunday mornings, were intended for an inter-faith audience, as well as for all who were struggling to make sense of any faith during the social upheavals of the twentieth century.
In addition to highlighting these resources, this blog will also share select images, anecdotes, and reflections on Rabbi Olan and his lasting influence as a scholar, religious leader, and social activist in Dallas and beyond.
The title “Conscience of the City” was applied to Rabbi Olan by a Fortune magazine reporter in 1964. Although Olan’s city was Dallas, his thought transcends locality. Our goal is to allow it to speak to people of conscience in every city today.
Your blog hosts are Timothy S. Binkley, Head of Special Collections and Archives at Berea College (and former archivist at Bridwell Library), and Anita Olan, a freelance writer and Rabbi Olan’s granddaughter. We are grateful for the assistance of these additional writers who have contributed posts to the blog: Elizabeth Hirsch, Joshua Hirsch, Frances Olan, Anjelica N. Ruiz, and Lillie R. Jenkins Walker.