Kohn, Samuel

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KOHN, SAMUEL (1841–1920), Hungarian rabbi and scholar. Kohn, born in Baja, Hungary, was the grandson of Eliakim *Goetz-Schwerin. He studied at A. *Hildesheimer's yeshivah in Eisenstadt and later at the Jewish Theological Seminary of Breslau and at the University of Breslau. He served as rabbi in Budapest from 1866 to 1905, when he was appointed chief rabbi. As an influential member of the 1868–69 Jewish Congress of Hungary, he was one of those responsible for the establishment of the Jewish Theological Seminary in Budapest. In his research Kohn dealt first with the Samaritans, but his major and lasting contribution was his work on the history of Jews in Hungary, Héber kútforrások és adatok Magyarország történetéhez ("Hebrew Sources and Data Relating to the History of Hungary," 1881) and, especially, A zsidók története Magyarországon… ("History of the Jews in Hungary," 1884). Kohn prepared material for a second volume treating the period after 1526, but this remained unpublished. Kohn also cataloged the Hebrew manuscripts in the Hungarian National Library (see mwj, 4 (1877), 76–104; also in Magyar Könyvszemle; repr. separately in both Ger. and Hung.) and wrote an important study, Mordechai ben Hillel, sein Leben und seine Schriften (1878), on the life of the 13th-century codifier and martyr. He was one of the first rabbis in Budapest to give sermons in Hungarian. He edited a collection of sermons entitled Zsinagógai szónoklatok (1875).


Emlékkönyv néhai Dr. Kohn Samuel… (1941); Z. Grossmann, in: Magyar Zsidó Szemle, 37 (1920), 1–5; M. Weisz, ibid., 5–11; M. Brann, Geschichte des Juedisch-Theologischen Seminars, Breslau (1904), 173ff.

[Alexander Scheiber]