Friday, June 17, 2011

R. Jacob Ettlinger as school superintendent.

In 1828 R. Jacob Ettlinger was appointed Clausprimator in Mannheim, where he was the rabbi. This fancy title seems to mean something like school superintendent. You can see the appointment noted in one of those boring government journals, the Grossherzoglich-Badisches Staats- und Regierungs-Blatt, Volume 26:

In Abraham Geiger's "Life Through Letters" published by his son Ludwig, we see the following anecdote:

Geiger witnessed R. Ettlinger come in to observe a school examination. The teacher, named Rosenfeld, was dealing with the story of Joseph and his brothers, and he said harsh things about them because of their actions. R. Ettlinger was very upset at the way the teacher spoke of "den Stämmen Israels" (the Tribes of Israel) and confronted the teacher.


  1. Primator is just a prebendary, and the Claus was Mannheim's Orthodox shul. As there was only one official community, and one official rabbi, he couldn't be called "the rabbi".

  2. Is that so? According to Bleich there were several Jewish schools (yes, schools) and this was the Judsiches Volksschule.

  3. It was one of his duties, but Clausprimator means "rabbi of the klaus shul, paid from that legacy", not school superintendent.

  4. Thanks. Only thing is he was appointed head of the Mannheim Klaus in 1825. So what's different about this, in 1828?

    Also, although there were some with Reform sympathies, and probably because of that he was not appointed chief rabbi (although he was Kreisrabbiner in nearby Ladenburg) apparently there was no Reform schul in Mannheim until 1853.

    (Information from Bleich.)



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