Ritter, Immanuel Heinrich

views updated


RITTER, IMMANUEL HEINRICH (1825–1890), German Reform rabbi. Ritter received an Orthodox education in Ratibor, Prussia, and studied history and philology at Breslau University. Unable to engage in an academic career in these fields, he became a teacher of religion in the Berlin Reform community and the successor of Samuel *Holdheim in his rabbinical post. Ritter established his reputation as defender of Jewish rights against the reactionary Prussian politician Wagener.

He wrote Geschichte der juedischen Reformation (4 parts, 1858, 1861, 1865, 1902), a history of the Reform movement which criticized Mendelssohn's lack of historical judgment (part 1, p. 53), as well as the first biographies of David *Friedlaender and Samuel Holdheim and the story of the Berlin Reform community.