Born in London in 1911, by the age of eighteen Kenneth Cox was on his way to becoming an Anglican clergyman, but eventually religious doubts got the better of him. He then embarked on several years of religious seeking, during which he even experimented with liberal Judaism—before determining that the religion was “dead as a dodo” and eventually converting to Catholicism. After serving as a Catholic priest for ten years, he again began to have doubts; these were exacerbated by his discovery of the writings of the great Zionist literary historian Joseph Klausner. Shalom Goldman writes:
The Catholic Priest Who Became an Orthodox Jew Thanks to a Secular Zionist Historian
At America’s Best Universities, Biblical Religion Is a Curiosity, if Not a Menace
At the time of Columbia University’s founding in 1784, notes Meir Soloviechik, the leader of the local synagogue, Gershom Mendes Seixas, was made a member of its board of regents. A Jewish student even gave a commencement address, composed by Seixas, in Hebrew. In the 20th century, Columbia attracted numerous Jews with the relaxation of quotas, and was the first secular university to create a chair in Jewish history. Barnard College, Columbia’s all-women’s school, was itself founded by a Jewish woman, and today has a large number of Orthodox Jewish students.