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Rabbi Louis Finkelstein was considered a dominant leader of Conservative Judaism. He served as the head of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America from 1940 to 1972, during which time he helped transform the school into a major university, establishing the Cantor Institute, the Seminary College of Jewish Music, and a West Coast branch of the seminary. A scholar who promoted dialogue between religions, he founded the Institute for Religious and Social Studies, which was later renamed the Finkelstein Institute in his honor.
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