Alexander Altmann was born in Kaschau (Košice), Slovakia on April 16, 1906. He received a degree in philosophy from the University of Berlin, where he also taught, and he served as a rabbi in Berlin from 1931-1938, after his ordination from the Rabbinical Seminary in Berlin. In 1938 he left Nazi-Germany and immigrated to England, where he served as a rabbi in Manchester. Here he founded the Institute of Jewish Studies. In 1959 he resigned as chairman of this institute in exchange for a position at Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts. From 1976 to 1978 he was also a visiting professor at both Harvard University and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He was an Associate at the Harvard University Center for Jewish Studies until his death on June 6, 1987. The main topic of his academic research was Jewish philosophy and mysticism, with a focus on Moses Mendelssohn.
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Alexander Altmann, Leo Baeck Institute, F 1823B.