Eisenstadt, Benzion

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EISENSTADT, BENZION (1873–1951), U.S. Hebraist, rabbi, and scholar. Eisenstadt was born in Kletsk, Belorussia. He studied at Nishvitz with Rabbi Yosepoh Grodzinski. In his youth he was attracted to modern Hebrew literature and while in his teens corresponded with Jewish scholars, such as Slonimski and Buber. While still in Russia he published ẒZioni (Warsaw, 1895; Parts 2–4, Vilna, 1899–1902), a biographical dictionary of contemporary rabbis and scholars, and Rabbanei Minsk va-Hakhameha, on the rabbis and scholars of Minsk (Vilna, 1899), as well as Ve-Zot li-Yehudah (1901), annotations on Noda bi-Yehudah, the responsa of Ezekiel Landau.

In 1903 he immigrated to the U.S. where he served as a pulpit rabbi and continued writing biographical works on well-known rabbis, scholars, and communal leaders. They include Hakhmei Yisrael be-Amerikah (with photographs, 1903), Dorot ha-Aḥaronim (2 vols., 1913, 1917), Anshei ha-Shem Be-Arẓot ha-Brit (1933) on American rabbis and, posthumously, Benei Ḥiyyon (1952). He was an ardent Zionist, active in Mizrachi and in charity for the then Palestine.

add. bibliography:

M.D. Sherman, Orthodox Judaism in America: A Biographical Dictionary and Sourcebook (1996), 56–58.

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Eisenstadt, Benzion

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