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Katz (Wannfried), Menahem

KATZ (Wannfried), MENAHEM, also known as Menahem Prossnitz (c. 1800–1891), Hungarian rabbi. The name Wannfried indicates his family's origin in Hesse-Nassau. Born in Prostejov (Prossnitz), Moravia, Katz was one of the outstanding disciples of R. Moses *Sofer. He was head of the yeshivah in his native town. Elected rabbi of Rajka (Ragendorf), Hungary, he was later appointed rabbi of *Deutschkreutz (Ẓelem), one of the "Seven Communities" of *Burgenland, where he served for over 50 years. Here too, he headed an important yeshivah. Katz is best known for his activity on behalf of the Orthodox faction at the Congress of Hungarian Jewry (1868). After the schism in Hungarian Jewry, he was a member of the delegation of rabbis which obtained independent rights for the Orthodox organization from Emperor *Francis Joseph I. In 1870 he also convened a meeting of Orthodox rabbis which served as the basis for the separate organization.


S. Sofer, in: Iggerot Soferim (1929), 9; J.J.(L.) Greenwald (Grunwald), Li-Felagot Yisrael be-Hungaryah (1929), 78.

Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2007 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.