October 11, 2016


1886: Father, Adolph Paul Wyschogrod is born in Vienna to Polish parents. At age two, he moves to Budapest where he becomes a chess master studying under the Hungarian master Geza Maroczy


1899: Mother, Margaret Ungar, is born in Budapest

1922: Older brother, Marcel, is born in Budapest. Marcel suffers from grand mal epilepsy, a lifelong condition

Late 1920’s: Family moves to Berlin

September 28, 1928: Michael Jacob Wyschogrod is born in Berlin

1934: MJW begins attending Adas Yisrael school

October 28, 1938: Paul Wyschogrod is deported to Poland. Margaret, Marcel (later known as Mendel) and Michael remain in Berlin

November 1938: MJW witnesses Kristallnacht

1939: Wyschogrod family receives US visas through efforts of Emory Ungar, Margaret’s brother, who had emigrated to America many years earlier and moved to Waycross, Georgis. Visas acquired through he  intercession of Senator Walter George of Georgia.

michael-wyschogrod-city-collegeJuly 3, 1939: Wyschogrod family arrives in NY via London

1941: Two aunts, Elsa and Ethel Wyschogrod, perish in Berlin

1941: Paul and Margaret separate. Margaret, Marcel and Michael move to 126 Hooper Street in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn. MJW begins attending Yeshiva Tora Vodaas

1945: Graduates Tora Vodaas and begins attending City College

1946-1952: Attends lectures of Rabbi Joseph P. Soloveitchik and studies for rabbinical ordination. Comes within a year of ordination but withdraws.

1949: Graduates City College

1949-1953: Doctoral work at Columbia. PhD granted in 1953. Dissertation is published under the title “Kierkegaard and Heidegger: the Ontology of Existence”

1955: Marries Edith Sarah Shurer


1955: First child, Daniel, is born

1957: Spends year teaching at Bar Ilan University where he founds the philosophy department

1958: Begins teaching at City College

1961: Daughter Tamar is born

1966: Front page article in NY Times on ‘Arty’ therapy is published questioning the validity of non-artists using art as a therapeutic modality

1966: Meeting with Karl Barth in Basel, Switzerland

1968: Enters faculty of Baruch College

1976: Lectures in Moscow at apartment of refusenik Professor Alexander Lerner. Attendees included Vladimir Slepak and Anatoly Sharansky.

1977: “Issues in the Jewish Experience” begins airing on WNBC in NY with MJW as host

June 7, 1977: Arrest among other Jewish leaders who chained themselves outside the Soviet embassy in New York to protest charges against Anatoly Sharanksy.

March 12, 1979: Audience with Pope John Paul II

mw-maybe-wiesel_20160730_0001Summer 1980: Visiting professor at Hochschule für Jüdische Studien Heidelberg

Mid 1980’s: Visiting professor at Theologischen Fakultät Luzern, der Universität Bern, and Kirchlichen Hochschule Wuppertal

1985: Begins relationship with survivors of the White Rose as a reaction to Ronald Reagan’s visit to the Bitburg cemetery.

1989: “The Body of Faith – God in the People Israel” is published

1992-2002: Becomes Professor of Religious Studies at University of Houston while Edith serves as Razor Professor in Religious Studies at Rice University

2002: Begins to teach several courses at Yeshiva University

2004: “Abraham’s Promise: Judaism and Jewish-Christion Relations” is published, a compilation of various previously published work

michael-wyschogrod-computer2008-2010: Joins the Center for Jewish-Christian Understanding and Cooperation’s Institute for Theological Inquiry to produce “Covenant and Hope: Christian and Jewish Reflections”

July 16, 2009: His wife, Edith Wyschogrod, passes away

2011: Diagnosed with Lewy Body Dementia. Moves to Boston.

December 17, 2015: Michael Wyschogrod passes away