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Davids, Aaron Issachar (Bernard) ben Naḥman


DAVIDS, AARON ISSACHAR (Bernard) BEN NAḤMAN (1895–1945), chief rabbi of Rotterdam (Holland). Davids, a grandson of Joseph Hirsch *Duenner, was born in Amsterdam. In his youth Davids was very active in the Mizrachi movement and influenced young people in the spirit of Zionism. While studying at the rabbinical seminary and the university he was headmaster of the Amsterdam religious school. He was ordained rabbi in 1923 and immediately invited to serve as rabbi of Leeuwarden (Friesland). In 1927 he was appointed rabbi of Groningen and in 1930 chief rabbi of Rotterdam, a post he held until 1943. Despite the increase of Nazi persecutions in Holland, he refused to leave his community. In 1943, he was taken to a concentration camp in Holland, and sent to Bergen-Belsen where he died. In spite of his rigid Orthodoxy he maintained strong ties, and cooperated with, all Jewish circles in Holland.


Elleh Ezkerah, 1 (1956), 77–81; F.J. Krop, Rotterdams Jaarboekje (1967), 206–7; L. Vorst, ibid. (1968), 144–7; S. de Jong, Joodsch leven in de Friesche hoofdstad 1920–1945 (1970).

[Yehoshua Horowitz]

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