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FRIEDENWALD , U.S. family of ophthalmologists and Jewish communal leaders.

jonas friedenwald (1803–1893), a German immigrant who settled in Baltimore in 1831, was a businessman and one of the founders of the Hebrew Orphan Asylum and Chizuk Emunah Orthodox Congregation. His youngest son aaron friedenwald (1836–1902) was born in Baltimore and studied medicine at the University of Maryland. A distinguished ophthalmologist, he was the first president of the Medical and Chirurgical Faculty of Maryland and a prominent member of medical societies. In 1890 he organized the Association of American Medical Colleges. He was an active worker in local and national Jewish organizations, including the Baltimore Hebrew Orphan Asylum, Jewish Theological Seminary of America, Federation of American Zionists, and American Jewish Historical Society. He also published articles of Jewish and general medical interest.

harry friedenwald (1864–1950), eldest of Aaron's five sons, was born in Baltimore. He excelled in studies at Johns Hopkins University, and after two years at the Baltimore College of Physicians and Surgeons, spent two years traveling and studying ophthalmology in Berlin. He returned to Baltimore in 1891 and began his practice, teaching ophthalmology at the Baltimore College of Physicians and Surgeons (1894–1929). Harry Friedenwald was a member of Hevras Zion in Baltimore, probably the first American Zionist society, and was president of the Federation of American Zionists, 1904–18. In 1911 and 1914 he went to Palestine, where he served as a consultant for eye diseases in several Jerusalem hospitals. He was a member of the Provisional Committee of Zionist Affairs during World War i, and in 1919 he was chairman of the Zionist Commission to Palestine, where he spent the year.

Friedenwald wrote on medical history with special emphasis on medieval Jewish doctors and the use of the Hebrew language in medical literature; he also lectured frequently on Jews in medicine. In 1944 his collected and expanded historico-medical writings, The Jews and Medicine (2 vols.), were published. He wrote Jewish Luminaries in Medical History (1946). His son jonas friedenwald (1897–1955) was also an ophthalmologist.


L. Levin, Vision: the Story of Dr. Harry Friedenwald of Baltimore (1964); G. Rosen, in: H. Friedenwald, Jews and Medicine (1967).

[Gladys Rosen]