Elbogen, Ismar, 1874-1943

Variant names
Birth 1874-09-01
Death 1943-08-01
German, German,

Biographical notes:

Born in Schildberg (now Ostrzeszow, Poland) on September 1, 1874, Elbogen studied at the University of Breslau and the Juedisch-theologisches Seminar, Breslau, receiving his doctorate in 1898 and rabbinical ordination the following year. He taught at the Collegio Rabbinico Italiano, Florence, from 1899 to 1902 and at the Hochschule fuer die Wissenschaft des Judentums, Berlin from 1902 to 1938, when he emigrated to the United States. He died in New York City on August 1, 1943.

From the guide to the Ismar Elbogen Collection, 1842-1974, (Leo Baeck Institute Archives)

D. Phil., Professor, and Dozent of Jewish Theology, Hochschule für dem Wissenschaft des Judentums, Berlin. (Kürschener's Deutscher Gelehrten-Kalender, 4th edition 1931 and 5th edition 1935, citing Germania Judaica, I. 34).

From the description of Correspondence and notes, 1929-1934. (Brown University). WorldCat record id: 122692113

Ismar Elbogen was born in Schidlberg, Posen on 1 September 1874. He received his Ph.D. after attending both Breslau University and the Jewish Theological Seminary in Breslau. From 1899-1902, Elbogen served as a lecturer in history and Bible exegesis for the Collegio Rabbinico Italiano, in Florence, Italy.

In 1904, Elbogen returned to Berlin to become professor of history and Bible exegesis at the Höchschule für die Wissenschaft des Judentums. The Höchschule was one of the most well-known and respected rabinnical training schools in Europe. In 1919, Elbogen was given the title of professor by the Prussian government. Elbogen observed the rise of anti-Semitism in his native land and in 1931 wrote a letter to a national conference of Jewish leaders describing the discrimination and subjugation of Jews. He sent his children away- his daughter to Palestine and his son to the United States. Elbogen himself left Germany in 1938 with a joint appointment to four United States Jewish universities (Dropsie College, Hebrew Unon College, Jewish Institute of Religion, Jewish Theological Seminary), acknowledging that Jewish culture was no longer possible under the Nazi regime in Germany.

Elbogen was strongly committed to the Jewish lay community. He belonged to the Union of Prussian Jewish Communities and the B'nai B'rith. Elbogan was also an early intellectual leader of the World Union for Progressive Judaism.

Elbogen was a noted scholar in many fields of study, but was particularly known for his contributions to the history of Jewish liturgy. His Der jüdische Gottesdienst in seiner geschichtlichen Enwicklung (1913) remained a standard work twenty years later. He wrote several volumes supplementing the Graetz history on German Jewry for the Jewish Publication Society of America. Elbogan also wrote several individual community histories. He edited the Encyclopaedia Judaica and the Germania Judaica .

Ismar Elbogen died suddenly on 1 August 1943. He married Regina Klemperer (sister of conductor Otto Klemperer) and had two children: Herman Z. Elbogen and Shoshanah Rosenberg.

From the guide to the Ismar Elbogen Papers., 1898-1938., (The Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives)

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