Abraham Joshua Heschel was a Jewish American rabbi, scholar, and philosopher who was very active in the U.S. Civil Rights Movement. Heschel descended on his father's side from Dov Baer (the Maggid) of Mezeritch and Abraham Joshua Heschel of Apta (Opatow); on his mother's side from Levi Isaac of Berdichev . After traditional Jewish studies, he obtained rabbinic ordination (semikhah). At the age of 20 he enrolled in the University of Berlin, where he obtained his doctorate, and at the Hochschule fuer die Wissenschaft des Judentums, where he also taught Talmud and received a second, liberal rabbinical ordination. In 1937 Martin Buber appointed him his successor at the central organization for Jewish adult education (Mittelstelle fuer juedische Erwachsenenbildung) and the Juedisches Lehrhaus at Frankfurt on the Main. Deported by the Nazis in October 1938 to Poland, he taught for eight months at the Warsaw Institute of Jewish Studies. He immigrated to England where he established the Institute for Jewish Learning in London. In 1940 he was invited by Julian Morgenstern to teach at Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati where he was associate professor of philosophy and rabbinics for five years. From 1945 he taught at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America (JTS) as professor of Jewish ethics and mysticism. In 1946 he married Sylvia Strauss, who gave birth to Susannah Heschel. Susannah followed in the footsteps of her father as a scholar of Judaism. Heschel visited Israel and called for the renewal of the prophetic vision in Zion. He served as professor at JTS until his death, combining his professional activities with extensive social action.