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Joseph Simon

SIMON, JOSEPH (1844–1915), Hungarian lawyer, secretary of the national council of Hungarian Jews. Born in Kapocs, he became a member and secretary of the Hungarian Jewish Congress of 1868–69, and from 1871 directed the National Council of Hungarian Jews (the *Neologist trend), a position he held through 25 years of stormy conflict. Simon first launched the struggle for opening a rabbinical seminary in 1877. He took up the defense for the accused during the *Tiszaeszlar blood libel case in 1882, and played an active role in the struggle for official recognition of the Jewish religion. Simon initiated a scholarship fund for needy Jewish students in institutions of higher learning, and organized a pension and relief scheme for families of the communal employees. He was among the founders of the Hungarian scholarly periodical *Magyar Zsidó Szemle and the Jewish literary society Israelita Magyar Irodalmi Társulat (IMIT).


M. Eisler, in: IMIT (1916), 226–37; L. Venetianer, A Magyar Zsidóság története (1922), 304–6; S.K. Endrei, in: Magyar Zsidó Szemle, 44 (1927), 230–4; L. Blau, ibid., 50 (1933), 186–7.

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