Rosenheim, Jacob

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ROSENHEIM, JACOB (1870–1965), Orthodox leader. Born in Frankfurt on the Main, Rosenheim acquired by his own efforts a wide Jewish and general culture. He was first apprenticed to a bank, and later founded the Hermon Publishing House, which produced a wide range of religious literature. In 1906 he transferred publication of the weekly *Israelit, which he had recently acquired, from Mainz to Frankfurt. Under his direction, it became the influential organ of German Orthodoxy for 30 years. Apart from taking a leading part in the Israelitische Religionsgesellschaft, the independent Orthodox Frankfurt congregation, Rosenheim revived the Freie Vereinigung fuer die Interessen des orthodoxen Judentums, founded by S.R. *Hirsch in 1886, as a platform for the different elements in German Orthodoxy. In 1906 he founded the Deutsch-Hollaendische Palaestinaverwaltung, which established a network of schools in Palestine before World War i. Rosenheim was one of the founders, ideologists and leaders of *Agudat Israel (Katowice (Kattowitz), 1912), and became its president in 1929. Rosenheim was also instrumental in the setting up of the union of Orthodox communities in Germany, and Prussia in particular. From 1940, he lived in the U.S. and spent his last years in Israel. He was a master of German style and an outstanding orator. The guiding light of Rosenheim's life was the union and organization of world Orthodoxy in order to make it face its tasks in the modern world. Although there were many in the Agudah who opposed any recognition of or cooperation with secular Zionism at the establishment of the State of Israel, Rosenheim's influence was exercised in favor of the Agudah joining the provisional government and becoming one of the parties in the Knesset.

His collected addresses and articles were published in 1930 (Ausgewaehlte Aufsaetze und Ansprachen, 2 vols.). Some of his essays were translated into English: Tent of Jacob (1957) and Samson Raphael Hirsch's Cultural Ideals… (1951). Rosenheim's memoirs were published in Hebrew (Zikhronot, 1955), and a Festschrift was published on his 60th birthday in 1931. A collection of his memoirs, Erinnerungen, 1870–1920, arranged and brought to press by H. Eisenmann and H.N. Kruskal, was published in 1970.


H. Schwab, Jacob Rosenheim (1925); idem, History of Orthodox Jewry in Germany (1950), index; I. Grunfeld, Three Generations (1959), index.