Deutsch, Ignaz

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DEUTSCH, IGNAZ (1808–1881), extremist leader of Austrian Jewish Orthodoxy. A native of Pressburg (Bratislava), he became a banker in Vienna and gabbai of the Polish synagogue there in 1848. To further Orthodox influence, he submitted numerous memoranda to the minister of religious affairs claiming that Orthodox Jews supported monarchical rule while Reform Jewry favored revolution. He urged the government to invest rabbis with the same powers as those enjoyed by Catholic clergymen under the concordat of 1855. In 1857 he appealed for government intervention in his unsuccessful attempt to secure the secession of Orthodox communities. Deutsch was prepared to give in to Catholics and the government over questions of Jewish rights, for instance, requesting rabbis not to support the Vienna community leadership's protest against the cancellation of the rights of Jews to own real estate (1853) and approving the pope's standpoint in the *Mortara case (1858). His denunciation (1860) of the *Alliance Israélite Universelle as subversive led to the founding of the independent Viennese *Allianz. In 1859 Deutsch had himself appointed representative in Austria by the Jews living in Jerusalem under the protection of the Austrian consul, but his request to be granted supervision of money collections for them was refused. However, he was recognized as supervisor (Kurator) of the affairs of Austrian Jews in Ereẓ Israel. Hedenounced L.A. *Frankl for introducing reforms in the synagogue attached to the Laemel school in Jerusalem.

Gerson *Wolf's publication (under the pen name of Israel Levi Kohn) in 1864 of several of Deutsch's applications to the ministry of religious affairs in Beitrag zur Geschichte juedischer Tartueffe (1864), after Deutsch had publicly denied that he had written them, the failure of his bank, and his circular to the Orthodox rabbis on the Mortara affair put an end to his public career. The leader of Vienna Orthodoxy, R. (Benjamin) Solomon *Spitzer, refused to cooperate with him. Deutsch achieved government recognition of the Pressburg (Bratislava) yeshivah as an academic institution of theological instruction.


N.M. Gelber, Aus zwei Jahrhunderten (1924), 145–77.