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HOROWITZ , a family of rabbis and scholars that also included writers, communal workers, and personalities active in all spheres of Jewish life. The Horowitz's were levites. The family originated in the 15th century, taking its name from the small town of Horovice in Bohemia. The various branches and sub-branches of the family spread throughout the whole Diaspora and also settled in Ereẓ Israel. According to one tradition they originated in Spain. The name appears in a great variety of forms: Hurwitz, Horwicz, Horovitz, or "ha-Levi, Ish Horowitz"; and under the influence of Russian it is often written as Gurevicz, Gurwicz, etc. Some scholars are of the opinion that the name Munk or Munka appearing in official government certificates and documents applies to the members of this family. isaiah b. moses ha-levi (d. 1517), who lived in Prague, is regarded as the founder of the family. He supported the Prague publishers in 1514 in their publication of the Pentateuch. Of Isaiah's seven sons the following are noteworthy: aaron meshullam zalman (1470–1545), who in 1535 founded the synagogue in Prague known as the "Pinkas-Schul," and is identified by some with the Zalman Munka to whom King Ludwig granted the privilege, in 1525, of having the rabbi and elder of the Prague congregation appointed from his family; israel (d. 1568/9), who met a martyr's death in Prague together with his son-in-law, Moses b. Joel; and shabbetai sheftel (d. 1555), a communal leader. As a result of the rise of the Horowitz family, disputes arose between it and its opponents in Prague. In order to settle these disputes, *Joseph (Joselmann) b. Gershom of Rosheim, among others, intervened.

The family of Aaron Meshullam Zalman included Phinehas b. Israel *Horowitz. abraham, son of Shabbetai Sheftel the communal leader and the father of isaiah the author of the Shelah, moved to Poland and dwelt in Cracow and Lemberg. In 1595 the town of Lemberg elected him dayyan of the province. At the beginning of the 17th century the family was scattered throughout Poland. Its members served as rabbis in Vienna, Prague, Hamburg, and Nikolsburg. The best known of them in the 16th and 17th centuries included Isaiah b. Abraham *Horowitz, author of the Shelah, and his son shabbetai sheftel. In the 17th and 18th centuries and the beginning of the 19th century, members of the family filled the roles of rabbis and dayyanim in various towns of Poland, Lithuania, Russia, Austria, Bohemia, Moravia, Hungary, and Germany, among them Isaac b. Jacob Jokel *Horowitz of Hamburg (d. 1767) and the well-known brothers Phinehas b. Ẓevi Hirsch *Horowitz of Frankfurt, author of the Hafla'ah, and his brother Samuel *Horowitz of Nikolsburg. Samuel Horowitz' descendants emigrated to the United States in the 1880s. The family married into the Margareten family, and established the well-known Horowitz-Margareten maẓẓah bakery. They founded the Horowitz-Margareten Family Association which numbers some 1,500 members. It engages in a number of social, charitable, and cultural activities, including a loan fund for those members of the European branch of the family who emigrated to Israel after the Holocaust. The association has published Directory and Genealogy of the Horowitz-Margareten Family (1955) in which each member is designated by a code.


S. Hock and D. Kaufmann, Die FamilienPrags (1892), 90–93; P. Pesis, Ateret ha-Leviyyim (1902; repr. 1968); S.Z. Cahana, Anaf Eẓ Avot (1903); L. Lewin, in: jjlg, 5 (1907), 86–88; Ḥ.D. Friedberg, Toledot Mishpahat Horowitz (19282); B. Wachstein, in: zgjd, 1 (1929), 141–151; H. Horowitz, Toledot Mishpaḥat Horowitz (1936); idem, in: Zeitschrift fuer die Geschichte der Juden in der Tschechoslowakei, 2 (1931–32), 89–105, 127–31, 225–8; 3 (1932/33), 221–4; Halpern, Pinkas, index; N.M. Gelber (ed.), Arim ve-Immahot be-Yisrael, 6 (1955), 57.

[Yehoshua Horowitz]