MUNK, family of rabbis. Ezra (1867–1940), an Orthodox rabbi in Germany, was the son of Elias Munk, dayyan at Altona. Hestudied at the Berlin Rabbinical Seminary under his uncle Azriel (Israel) *Hildesheimer and at the Universities of Berlin and Koenigsberg. In 1897, when he was rabbi at Koenigsberg (an office he held from 1893 to 1900), his congregation seceded from the general community. In 1900 he succeeded Hildesheimer as rabbi of the Adass Yisroel congregation in Berlin. Munk acted as Orthodox adviser to the Prussian Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs, where he enjoyed great confidence. He expanded the office for *sheḥitah affairs, founded by Hirsch *Hildesheimer in 1907, making it the international center for the defense of sheḥitah. Cofounder of the BJA (Bund Juedischer Akademiker), the association of Orthodox students in German universities, and of the Union of Orthodox Congregations (the so-called Halberstaedter Verband), he was also chairman of the "Association of Traditional Torah-True Rabbis" and a member of the rabbinical council of the German *Agudat Israel. Among his publications are Gefaelschte Talmudzitate (1924) and Entwicklung der Verhaeltnisse der preussischen Synagogengemeinden… (1931). Some of his responsa (Kahana Messayye'a Kahana) were published by S.Z. Klein (1938). In 1938 Munk left Germany for Jerusalem, where he died. Among his sons were ELI (1899–1978), rabbi of the Golders Green Beth Hamidrash, London, and MICHAEL (1905–1984), educator in the U.S., author of Ezra ha-Sofer (1933) and coauthor (with I. Lewin and J. Berman) of Religious Freedom: the Right to Practice Sheḥitah (1946). He also published with I. Lewin Shechita: A Religious, Historical and Scientific Background (1976).
LEO (1851–1917), Ezra's brother, was district rabbi at Marburg (Hesse) from 1876. He took an active part in the work of the *Deutsch-Israelitischer Gemeindebund, the *Hilfsverein der deutschen Juden, and the rabbinical associations, both general and Orthodox. Among his publications was a scholarly edition of Targum Sheni on Esther (1876). ELIE (b. 1900–1981), Ezra's nephew, a rabbi and writer, was district rabbi of Ansbach (Bavaria) from 1926, and from 1937 was rabbi of the Communauté Israélite de la Stricte Observance in Paris. His published works include Die Welt der Gebete (2 vols. (1938); Eng., The World of Prayer, 2 vols., 1954–63), a commentary on the siddur; Das Licht der Ewigkeit (1935); La justice sociale en Israel (1947); Rachel (on the duties of Jewish women; 19515); and a translation into French of Rashi's Pentateuch commentary (1957).
H. Seidman, in: L. Jung (ed.), Guardians of our Heritage (1958), 551ff.; A. Hildesheimer, in: M. Sinasohn (ed.), Adass Jisroel Berlin (1966), 72–83; J. Rothschild (ed.), Leo Munk Gedenkbuch (1918).
Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.