Einstein Helps Sponsor Scripta Mathematica
Scripta Mathematica: A Quarterly Journal Devoted to the Philosophy, History, and Expository Treatment of Mathematics plays an important role in the budding relationship between Einstein and Yeshiva College. Whereas Einstein had originally conceived of the College as a place of Jewish learning, he soon came to realize that it was also a full-fledged liberal arts college with one foot in the world of contemporary scholarship. “The only mathematical journal published under Jewish auspices," Scripta helped prove to him that Yeshiva College was not only a recipient and transmitter of traditional Jewish learning but a contributor to modern secular learning as well. Founded under the editorship of Dr. Jekuthiel Ginsburg, the journal produced its first issue in September 1932. By December 1933, when Revel intended to send all its issues to Einstein, five had been published. On September 23,1934, just weeks before the granting of the honorary degree to Einstein, Prof. Ginsburg invited him to become an Honorary Member and to join the Advisory Board of the Forum of Friends of Scripta Mathematica, a group which at that point included Revel, Bernstein, and Columbia Professors Cassius Jackson Keyser and David Eugene Smith. Einstein accepted.
By 1937, New York Times Editor-in-Chief John Finley and renowned American philosopher John Dewey had joined the Honorary Advisory Board of the journal, and Einstein had agreed to act as its Chairman. In that capacity Einstein wrote a letter in 1937 appealing to donors for support of the publication, which he referred to as "both Jewish and universal.” Articles written by contributors from round the world exhibited a broad range of subject matter, yet one special focus was historical and contemporary Jewish contributions to mathematics. The Journal therefore remains interesting for both its mathematical and its cultural substance.
Nearly twenty years later, in the early 1950s, Yeshiva University's second President Samuel Belkin reached out to Einstein in connection with the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. The journal was still being published, and Einstein renewed his relationship with Prof. Ginsburg, by that time head of the University's institute of Mathematics.