Goudsmit, Joel Emanuel

views updated


GOUDSMIT, JOEL EMANUEL (1813–1882), Dutch lawyer. Goudsmit was the first Jew to become a university professor in Holland and member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Sciences. Goudsmit, who was born in Leiden, graduated in law in 1842. After a period in practice he was appointed professor of Roman law at Leiden in 1859. At the university he served as a secretary to the Senate in 1866 and became rector of the university in 1871. As a scholar he became famous through his Pandecten-Systeem (1866; The Pandects, 1873) which was translated into several languages. He was a member of the board of the first lawyers' association in the Netherlands. He was a member of the Leiden municipal council from 1861 until 1881. Also active in local and national Jewish affairs, he was for many years chairman of the Society for the Promotion of the Welfare of the Jews in Holland. He publicly protested against antisemitic publications in Holland and advocated the rights of the Jews in Romania.

[Henriette Boas /

Bart Wallet (2nd ed.)]