Zunz, Leopold, 1794-1886

Alternative names
Birth 1794-08-10
Death 1886-03-17
German, Hebrew

Biographical notes:

Born in Detmold on August 10, 1794, Leopold Zunz was educated at the Samson'sche Freischule in Wolfenbüttel, and the universities of Berlin and Halle. In 1819, he was a founding member of the Verein fuer Cultur und Wissenschaft der Juden in Berlin, in which prominent intellectual figures like Eduard Gans, Heinrich Heine, M. I. Jost and Immanuel Wohlwill gathered. From this club, the so-called Wissenschaft des Judentums emerged, mainly based on two early works of Zunz, the programmatic article " Etwas über rabbinische Litteratur " (1818) and the major ground-breaking study on Jewish sermons, Die gottesdienstlichen Vortraege der Juden, historisch entwickelt (1832). After receiving his doctorate in 1821, he worked as a preacher and teacher and became the editor of the journal Zeitschrift für die Wissenschaft des Judenthums . In 1822, he married Adelheid Bermann (1802-1874). In later years, he retreated more and more from his public duties and dedicated his life to the study of Jewish literature. He died in Berlin on March 17, 1886.

From the guide to the Leopold and Adelheid Zunz Collection, 1815-1959, (Leo Baeck Institute)

Leopold Zunz, a German historian, is known as the Father of the Science of Judaism. His historical and scientific approach to the study of Judaism was fostered through his study at the University of Berlin under the Classicist, Frederich August Wolf. He saw the promotion of an historical-critical approach to Jewish Studies as a way of furthering the aims of the society. The main focus of his research was Hebrew literature.

From the description of Zunz-Ehrenberg papers 1811-1964, bulk 1811-1879. (Vanderbilt University Library). WorldCat record id: 29748926


Loading Relationships


Ark ID:


  • Manuscripts, Hebrew
  • Jewish literature--History
  • Jewish learning and scholarship--Germany--History--19th century
  • Manuscripts--German


not available for this record


not available for this record