MEZEY, FERENC (1860–1927), Hungarian lawyer and communal worker. Mezey studied law at the university of Budapest and took an interest in Jewish affairs from his student days. In the *Tiszaeszlar blood-libel case, he assisted the counsel for the defense, K. Eötvös. During the 1890s Mezey was one of the founders of the movement seeking institutional equality for the Jewish religion (granted in 1895). From 1902 he was the secretary of the national bureau of the Hungarian Jews, and its president in the last year of his life. Between 1889 and 1916 he was also secretary of the ḥevra kaddisha of Pest (see *Budapest), and was instrumental in establishing social welfare institutions. Mezey was also president of the administrative council of the rabbinical seminary. He founded the Jewish Museum of Budapest (1916), and was editor of the periodical *Magyar Zsidó Szemle. An extreme assimilationist and anti-Zionist, Mezey sought to foster religious life organized within the religious institutions in order to repair the breach between the two factions of Hungarian Jewry, and helped to promote the influence of *Neologism.
L. Blau, in: Magyar Zsidó Szemle, 45 (1928), 97–100; idem, in: IMIT, 44 (1929), 11–25; Ö. Kálmán, M.F. élete és működése (1929).
Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.