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Blumenfeld, Emanuel


BLUMENFELD, EMANUEL (1801–1878), leader of the Haskalah in Galicia and the first Jew to practice law in Lemberg. Blumenfeld was instrumental in establishing the Reform Temple in Lemberg. He was a member of an unsuccessful delegation sent to the Austrian emperor in 1840 to ask for abolition of the *candle tax and for alleviation of the restriction on Jewish occupations. In 1842 the authorities, wishing to encourage the spread of Haskalah, appointed a community council without holding elections, which Blumenfeld headed. He subsequently reorganized the communal administration and inaugurated wide-ranging educational projects. A secular coeducational Jewish school on the model of the Perl school in Tarnopol was opened in Lemberg in 1844, and supported by the community. In 1847 Blumenfeld convened an assembly of representatives of the communities of Galicia to discuss alleviation of taxation and the general situation. He was one of the eight Jews elected to the city council for the first time in 1848, and helped to formulate the municipal statute of Lemberg in 1850.


F. Friedman, Die galizischen Juden im Kampfe um ihre Gleichberechtigung (1929), 58 n. 146; N.M. Gelber, in: eg, Poland series, 4 (1956), 232–3.

[Moshe Landau]

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