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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, and at Congregation Adass Jisroel, Berlin, in 1869, founding the Rabbiner Seminar fuer das orthodoxe Judentum in 1873. His attempts to give secular learning a firm place in rabbinical studies brought him into conflict with more traditionally minded orthodox Jews. He died in Berlin in 1899.

Hermann (Chaim Aaron ben David) Struck was born in Germany in 1876. He is best known as a master etcher, lithographer and early Zionist. He studied for five years at the Berlin Academy and in 1908 wrote "Die Kunst des Radierens" (The Art of Etching), while mentoring artists such as Marc Chagall, Max Liebermann and Lesser Ury. His art was included in an exhibition at the Fifth Zionist Congress and he helped establish the religious Zionist movement called Mizrachi. Struck was an Orthodox Jew but believed that culture and religion could thrive cooperatively in the Land of Israel. He emigrated to Haifa where he created an artistic community and participated in the development of the Tel Aviv Museum and the Bezalel art school in Jerusalem. Hermann Struck died in 1944.

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Struck, Hermann: Portrait of Rabbi Hildesheimer, Leo Baeck Institute, 78.264.