Chotzner, Joseph

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CHOTZNER, JOSEPH (1844–1914), scholar and writer. Chotzner studied at the Jewish Theological Seminary and at the university in Breslau, where he obtained a doctorate for a Hebrew adaptation of F.M. von Bodenstedt's Die Lieder des Mirza-Schaffy (1868). From 1869 to 1880 and again from 1893 to 1897, Chotzner was minister of the *Belfast Hebrew Congregation. From 1880 to 1892, he was in charge of a "Jewish house" for boys attending the famous Harrow school. Leaving Belfast once more in 1893, Chotzner became one of the resident scholars at the rabbinical college established by Moses *Montefiore at Ramsgate (England). From 1905 he lived in retirement in London. Chotzner devoted his scholarly interests chiefly to humor and satire in Jewish literature (from the Bible to modern Hebrew writers), and he wrote on this subject a number of articles which appeared in the Jewish Quarterly Review and later in book form (Hebrew Humour and Other Essays, 1905, and Hebrew Satire, 1911). He published a small volume of humoristic essays and poems (Leil Shimmurim, 1864) and wrote his youthful memoirs (Zikhronot, 1885). Though far from being Orthodox, Chotzner opposed radical reform and showed little sympathy for Herzl's Zionism. His son alfred james (1873–1958), a graduate of Cambridge University, rose to be a High Court judge in Calcutta and a Conservative member of the British parliament from 1931 to 1934.


A. Carlebach, in: jhset, 21 (1968), 257ff.

[Alexander Carlebach]