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Bookplate of Meier Hildesheimer

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Bookplate of Meier Hildesheimer


Hildesheimer, Meier, 1864-1934


This is the bookplate of Rabbi Meier Hildesheimer (1864-1934), who led the Congregation Adas Yisrael in Berlin and directed the Rabbinical Seminary of Berlin (also Bet he-midrash le-Rabanim be-Berlin, featured in the Brisman collection). Founded in 1873 by his father, Rabbi Dr. Israel Hildesheimer, this seminary was the first modern Orthodox rabbinical institution to be established in Berlin.

Rabbi Dr. Israel (also Esriel or Azriel) Hildesheimer (1820-1899) was a German rabbi and prominent Orthodox leader. He attended the Hasharat Zvi school in Halberstadt and the Yeshiva of Rabbi Jacob Ettlinger Altona, where he studied under Isaac Bernays (brother of Jacob Bernays, whose signature also appears in the Brisman collection).

Hildesheimer continued his education at the University of Berlin, where he studied Semitic languages, mathematics, and Talmudic studies, and became a disciple of the Hegelian school. He went on to earn his Ph.D from the University of Halle-Wittenberg in 1844.

Regarded as a founder of Modern Orthodox Judaism, Rabbi Israel Hildesheimer believed that modern Jewish education must teach Jews how best to confront and deal with modernity in all of its aspects. During his time as rabbi of Eisenstadt, Hungary (now located in Austria) from 1851-1869, Hildesheimer established a parochial school and a rabbinical school. In 1869 he was called to Berlin to serve as the rabbi of the Orthodox synagogue, Congregation Adas Yisrael of Berlin (Israelitische Synagogen-Gemeinde Adass Jisroel zu Berlin), and a few years later he founded the Rabbinical Seminary of Berlin.

In an address delivered at his rabbinical seminary, Hildesheimer defined his position on modern Orthodoxy as an "unconditional agreement with the culture of the present day; harmony between Judaism and science; but also unconditional steadfastness in the faith and traditions of Judaism: these constitute the program of the New Community, the standard round which gather the Israelites of Berlin who are faithful to the Law."


Hildesheimer, Meier, 1864-1934




Digital Image: Washington University in Saint Louis










Hildesheimer, Meier, 1864-1934, “Bookplate of Meier Hildesheimer,” WUSTL Digital Gateway Image Collections & Exhibitions, accessed July 15, 2024, http://omeka.wustl.edu/omeka/items/show/11442.