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Lincoln was a studious Bible scholar himself, quoting the Jewish Bible often in his public addresses, newspaper articles and ordinary conversation. Thus, he proved to be a philo-Semite, and especially in the instance of reversing Grant’s decision to bar Jewish traders from his Southern district during the Civil War, showed his fairness to the Jewish community. In fact, many of those Jewish traders were “sutlers,” officially appointed to follow the armies to cater to the ordinary supply of soldiers with supplementary clothing and victuals just behind battlefields, who were forced to compete with gentile sutlers.

Holzer grew up in an Orthodox Jewish home in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn, and members of his family, including his 98-year-old mother, continue full religious observance. He has been a prominent member of a Synagogue in Rye, New York, and a close friend of his confederate, Rabbi Menachem Genack of The Orthodox Union. Married to his wife Edith for over 43 years, they have two daughters. His son-in-law Adam Kirsch is a writer for Tablet, one of the largest Jewish websites.

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Holzer is also chairman of the Lincoln Bicentennial Foundation. Among his many titles are Emancipating Lincoln and Lincoln at Cooper Union.

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