Hirsch, Emil Gustav, 1851-1923, American rabbi, b. Luxembourg. He was rabbi in Baltimore, Md., and Louisville, Ky., but is best known for his work as rabbi of the Sinai congregation of Chicago. In 1892 he became professor of rabbinical literature and philosophy at the Univ. of Chicago, and he was president (1885-97) of the Chicago Public Library board. He was an influential exponent of advanced thought and Reform Judaism. He edited the Milwaukee Der Zeitgeist (1880-82) and the Reform Advocate (1891-1923).

See My Religion, a compilation of Hirsch's addresses and sermons, by G. B. Levi (1925); biography by D. C. Hirsch (1968).

Hirsch, Maurice, baron de, 1831-96, German Jewish financier and philanthropist. The benefactor of numerous organizations and causes, his most ambitious project was the Jewish Colonization Association (1891), an organization designed to facilitate the emigration of Jews from Russia to colonies in North and South America. He formulated this colonization plan after the Russian government had refused his offer of $10 million for the establishment of proper educational conditions for Jews in that country. His other philanthropic contributions included immense sums donated to the Alliance Israélite Universelle (the first international Jewish organization), to Galician schools, and to various London hospitals.
Hirsch, Samson Raphael, 1808-88, German rabbi and chief exponent of Neo-Orthodoxy. As rabbi in Frankfurt-am-Main, he advocated the organization of autonomous Orthodox congregations outside the state-recognized Jewish communal structure because of the latter's failure to support traditional ideals and practices. He was not an isolationist, however; he sought to combine traditional Jewish studies with secular learning. He first promoted that notion in his Nineteen Letters (1836, tr. 1899). He maintained in Horeb (1837, tr. 1962) that the reason for the Jews' existence was—in keeping with biblical teachings—to exemplify the righteous life for all the world as revealed by God. He further saw Judaism as an organic institution and condemned the breaks in tradition advocated by the Reform movement.

See I. Grunfeld, Three Generations: The Influence of Samson Raphael Hirsch on Jewish Life and Thought (1958); J. L. Blau, Modern Varieties of Judaism (1966).

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