Prijs, Joseph

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PRIJS, JOSEPH (1889–1956), bibliographer and historian. Born in Wuerzburg, Bavaria, Prijs served as rabbi and teacher at Breslau (1918–21), became rabbi and head of the talmudtorah at Munich, and in 1927 lecturer in Jewish subjects at Munich University. When the Nazis came to power (1933), he went to live in Switzerland, where he devoted himself to research in Swiss university libraries and cataloged the Jewish holdings in several Swiss university libraries.

Prijs wrote on the Hebrew book collections in Bavaria (1927) and on Hebrew printing in *Sulzbach (jtlg, 21, 1930, 319) Mitteilungen der Soncinogesellschaft, no. 7 (1931), 26–33) and in Fuerth (Nachtraege zu L. Loewensteins Bibliographie… etc., 1938). His great achievement is the monumental work Die basler hebraeischen Drucke (1964), published posthumously by his son Bernard. Since Basle was a great center of learning in the 16th century, Prijs' book is an important contribution not only to the history of Jewish printing but also to history of the culture of the early Reformation. Prijs also published some genealogical studies: Familie Hirsch auf Gereuth (1931); Stam-boom der Familie Goldsmidt-Cassel te Amsterdam (1936).

Prijs' son, leo (1920– ) was research fellow at Yeshiva University, New York, and at the Institutum Judaicum, Muenster (Westphalia), Germany. From 1957 to 1960 he was lecturer in Bible at Bar-Ilan University and from 1968 professor at Munich University.

Among his published works are Juedische Tradition inder Septuaginta (1948), Die grammatische Terminologie des Abraham ibn Esra (1950), and Die Jeremia Homilie, Pesikta Rabbati 26 (1966), a critical edition with German translation and commentary.

[Walter Baumgartner]