GRUENBAUM, MAX (1817–1898), German researcher in Jewish folklore and the popular languages of the Jews, one of the founders of Yiddish philology. He was born in Seligenstadt. In 1858 Gruenbaum was appointed director of the Hebrew Orphan Asylum in New York. In 1870 he returned to Europe, settled in Munich, and devoted himself to research. In the field of folklore, Gruenbaum investigated the history of aggadic themes and their influence on Islam. In the field of linguistics and literature Gruenbaum published his Juedisch-deutsche Chrestomathie (1882) and a selection from Yiddish literature. He was the first linguist to make a study of the structure and evolution of the Yiddish language. When he was 80 years old Gruenbaum published a chrestomathy of Judeo-Spanish which is important for the general research of Romance languages. Among his books were Beitraege zur vergleichenden Mythologie aus der Haggadah (1877); Neue Beitraege zur semitischen Sagenkunde (1893); Die juedischdeutsche Litteratur in Deutschland, Polen und Amerika (1894) and Juedisch-Spanische Chrestomathie (1896).
F. Perles, in: azdj (Dec. 25, 1898); idem, in: M. Gruenbaum, Gesammelte Aufsaetze (1901), introduction (repr. in: Juedische Skizzen (1912), 61–64); adb, 49 (1904), 589–94; Rejzen, Leksikon, 1 (1926), 635.
[Martin Meir Plessner]