Gruenhut, Eleazar

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GRUENHUT, ELEAZAR (Lazar ; 1850–1913), rabbi and author. Gruenhut was born in Gerenda, Hungary, and in 1883 he was appointed rabbi of Temesvár. Impressed by the Haskalah and taking up the challenge he saw in it, he decided to augment his general education and acquire a scientific foundation for his Jewish studies. At the age of 40 he resigned his rabbinical post, left Temesvár, and moved to Berlin, where he studied at the Hildesheimer seminary and at the University of Berlin. He was especially influenced by Azriel *Hildesheimer and Abraham *Berliner. In 1892 he emigrated to Palestine and became head of the German-Jewish Orphanage. His introduction of secular studies there and his openly proclaimed Zionist views aroused the opposition of ultra-Orthodox circles in Jerusalem. Gruenhut was a prominent figure in the early Mizrachi. In addition to his communal and educational activities, Gruenhut continued his scholarly endeavors, mainly in Midrash and in Palestinian geography.


S. Ha-Cohen Weingarten, in: Lu'aḥ Yerushalayim, 7 (1946/47), 168–77; 8 (1947/48), 211–4.

[Jacob Haberman]