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Biographical/Historical Information

Born in Halberstadt in 1820, Esriel Hildesheimer studied at the yeshiva in Altona and at the universities of Berlin and Halle, receiving his doctorate in 1844. Along with Samson Raphael Hirsch, he was one of the founders and leaders of neo-Orthodoxy. He became rabbi in Eisenstadt, Austria-Hungary, in 1851, where he also founded a yeshiva. In 1869, he moved to Congregation Adass Jisroel in Berlin, where - in 1873 – he founded the ‘Rabbiner Seminar für das orthodoxe Judentum’. His attempts to give secular learning a firm place in rabbinical studies brought him into conflict with more traditionally minded Orthodox Jews. Rabbi Esriel Hildesheimer died in Berlin in 1899.

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Rabbi Esriel Hildesheimer, Leo Baeck Institute, F 2453.