Hoffman, Jacob

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German Orthodox rabbi. Born in Papa, Hungary, Hoffman studied in the Pressburg (Bratislava) Yeshivah and at the University of Vienna, where he received his doctorate in 1919. After serving in the Montefiore Synagogue in Vienna (1906–8) and in Kostelets (Moravia) (1908–12), he was appointed in 1912 chief rabbi of Radauti and district, in Bukovina, where he remained until 1922. In 1923 Hoffman was appointed chief rabbi of Frankfurt on the Main, succeeding R. Nehemiah *Nobel. There he founded a unique yeshivah which combined rabbinic and secular studies and attracted students from all over Germany and beyond. On Hitler's rise to power he was appointed as the sole Orthodox member of the Reichsvertretung der Juden in Deutschland. In 1937 he was imprisoned by the Nazis and subsequently expelled from Germany. He emigrated to the U.S., where he was appointed rabbi of the Ohab Zedek Congregation, New York, remaining there until he resigned in 1953. In 1954 he settled in Israel, where he died.

While still a student, Hoffman was a delegate to the founding World Conference of the Mizrachi held in 1904, and was prominently connected with the movement all his life. He published two manuscripts by a disciple of Naḥmanides consisting of commentaries on the tractates Ta'anit (1951) and Beẓah (1956).


J. Hoffman, Perush Talmid ha-Ramban le-Massekhet Beẓah (1956), Foreword.