Beck, Moritz

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BECK, MORITZ

BECK, MORITZ (Meir ; 1845–1923), rabbi, educator, and leader of Romanian Jewry. Born at Pápa in Hungary, Beck studied at the University of Breslau and the Breslau rabbinical seminary. He went to Romania in 1873, and was appointed preacher (in 1900, rabbi) at the "Choir Temple" and principal of the Loebel Jewish School for Boys in Bucharest. Beck was considered rabbi of the progressive elements in the Bucharest community. He promoted the expansion of Jewish education in Romania, encouraging the formation of new schools with adequate financial support. He also helped establish social welfare institutions, and worked toward the renewal of the Bucharest community organization, which had disintegrated in the second half of the 19th century (see *Romania). Beck took a prominent part in the fight against antisemitism and discrimination in Romania and for the emancipation of Romanian Jews. He contributed to the general and Jewish press, and published the journal Revista Israelitǎ from 1886 to 1892 and from 1908 to 1910. Aside from his sermons and numerous articles on various subjects, Beck compiled a Hebrew-Romanian dictionary of the Torah (1881). Toward the end of his life he was attracted by Zionism.

bibliography:

M. Beck, Cuvânt de omagiu: Viaţa şi opera (1925); A. Stern, Insemnaǎri din viaţa mea, 2 (1921), passim.

[Eliyahu Feldman]