Benisch, Abraham (DNB00)

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BENISCH, ABRAHAM (1811–1878), Hebraist, was born of Jewish parents at Drosau, in Bohemia, in 1811. From an early age he interested himself in the welfare of his co-religionists. For some years he studied medicine at the university of Vienna, but abandoned the study before proceeding to a degree. He left Austria in 1841 to settle in England, where he remained for the rest of his life. His Hebrew learning and his actively displayed devotion to Judaism secured for him a high reputation among the Jews in England. He was editor of the 'Jewish Chronicle' from 1864 till 1869, and again from 1875 till his death. He zealously promoted the formation of the Society of Hebrew Literature in 1870, and of the Anplo-Jewish Association in 1871. Benisch died at Hornsey on 31 July 1878. He was the author of the following works : 1. 'Two Lectures on the Life and Writings of Maimonides,' 1847. 2. A translation of the Old Testament, published with the Hebrew Text, in 1851. 3. 'An Essay on Colenso's Criticism of the Pentateuch and Joshua,' 1863. 4. 'Judaism surveyed; being a Sketch of the Rise and Development of Judaism from Moses to our days,' a series of five lectures delivered at St. George's Hall, London, in 1874. Benisch also published an 'Elementary Hebrew Grammar' in 1852, and a 'Manual of Scripture History' in 1863.

[Information from the Rev. A. Lowy; Brit. Mus. Cat.; Athenaeum, 10 Aug. 1878.]

S. L. L.