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HARBY, ISAAC (1788-1828).

Critic, playwright, precursor of Reform Judaism. Born in Charleston, S.C., Harby received a thorough classical education, studied law, and became a journalist. His critical essays and dramatic plays brought him considerable reputation. In 1824, he organized the Reform Society of Israelites, which sought to make changes in the traditional synagogue service. This organization lasted less than a decade; but it pointed the way to the later Reform movement in American Judaism.

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