SCHILD, EDWIN


SCHILD, EDWIN
SCHILD, EDWIN (1920– ), rabbi and community leader. Schild was born in Koeln-Muelheim (Cologne), Germany, and spent his teenage years under Nazi restrictions and persecution. In 1938, while he was attending the Jewish Teacher's Seminary in Wuerzburg, Schild survived Kristallnacht, only to be picked up by the Nazis and incarcerated in the Dachau concentration camp. He was released on condition that he emigrate. Early in 1939 Schild was able to arrange passage through the Netherlands to continue his studies at Yeshiva Torath Emeth in London, England, where he remained until May 1940. As the threat of a German invasion of the U.K. loomed and fears grew of covert Nazi agents, Schild was caught up in the mass internments of "enemy aliens." He was one of more than 2,200 mostly Jewish German and Austrian refugees transfered to Canada and incarcerated in detention camps. Although Canadian authorities were soon aware that most of the internees were legitimate refugees, anti-Jewish sentiment within the government kept the refugees locked behind barbed wire. Schild was interned from July 1940 to   February 1942. He was able to continue his studies within the camps and, when released, completed his academic and rabbinical studies in Toronto. The senior rabbi of Toronto's Conservative Adath Israel Congregation from 1947 to 1989, Rabbi Schild, whose parents perished in the Shoah, devoted his career to promoting cross-cultural and interfaith relations. He chaired the Canadian Division of the Rabbinical Assembly of America and the Canada-Israel Committee, Ontario Region, and was an active board member of the Christian-Jewish Dialogue and honored with the Human Relations Award from the Canadian Council of Christians and Jews. In retirement he remained active as rabbi emeritus and embarked on yearly lecture tours of Germany, where he continued his interfaith efforts. In 2001 Rabbi Schild became a Member of the Order of Canada. He wrote The Very Narrow Bridge. A Memoir of an Uncertain Passage (2001). (Paula Draper (2nd ed.)

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

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