Schoenfeld, Joseph

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SCHOENFELD, JOSEPH (1884–1935), Hungarian Zionist and editor of Hungarian/Zionist periodicals. He was among the founders of Maccabea, the Zionist students' society in Budapest, which was founded on Herzl's initiative in 1903 and prepared Hungarian-speaking Zionist leaders for Hungary, Slovakia, Transylvania, and North Yugoslavia. From 1912 to 1914, and then from 1927 to 1935, he was the editor of the organ of the Hungarian Zionist Federation Zsidó Szemle ("Jewish Review"). His articles defended the Zionist movement against opposition, especially by the Jewish weekly Egyenlöség ("Equality"), which enjoyed the support of the Budapest Neolog community and advanced an assimilationist line.

Schoenfeld fought for the reunification of Hungarian Jewry, which had split into opposing groups – Orthodox and Neolog – in 1871. He was a gifted orator, employing humor and sarcasm in his speeches. He translated Herzl's Der Judenstaat into Hungarian in 1919, and published Vissza a Gettóba ("Return to the Ghetto," 1919) and Harcban a Zsidóságért ("In the Battle for Israel," 1928), both of which contain a selection of his articles on Jewish problems and Zionism in Hungary and in general.


H.Z. Zehavi, Me-ha-Ḥatam Sofer ve-ad Herzl (1965), 325–6.

[Jekutiel-Zwi Zehawi]