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date: 05 July 2020

Felsenthal, Bernhardlocked

(02 January 1822–12 January 1908)
  • Tobias Brinkmann


Felsenthal, Bernhard (02 January 1822–12 January 1908), Jewish theologian, was born in Münchweiler in the Bavarian Palatinate, the son of Simon Felsenthal and Eva Gall. Little is known about his youth and upbringing. As a boy he attended a secular school in nearby Kaiserslautern, Polytechnic High School, and then in 1838 he enrolled at the University of Munich, intending to pursue a career as a civil servant. As a Jew, however, he could not enter the Bavarian state administration, and in 1840, disillusioned about his future prospects, he returned to his home region. Until 1842 he attended a teachers’ seminary in Kaiserslautern and later was employed as a teacher by the Jewish community in Münchweiler. In 1854 Felsenthal left Münchweiler with his father and sister and joined two of his brothers in the United States. Apparently their departure was part of a larger chain migration of Jews from villages in the Bavarian Palatinate to small towns in southeastern Indiana. First settling in Lawrenceburg, Indiana, he was a private teacher. In 1856 he moved to Madison, Indiana, and was a rabbi....

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