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Gratz, Rebecca (1781-1869), pioneer Jewish charitable worker and religious educator  

Dianne Ashton

Gratz, Rebecca (04 March 1781–27 August 1869), pioneer Jewish charitable worker and religious educator, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the daughter of Michael Gratz, of Silesia, a merchant shipper, and Miriam Simon, of Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Gratz grew up in Philadelphia’s wealthy society, and her brothers expanded the family financial interests to the West....


Leeser, Isaac (1806-1868), Jewish religious leader and author  

Marc D. Angel

Leeser, Isaac (12 December 1806–01 February 1868), Jewish religious leader and author, was born in Neuenkirchen, Westphalia, the son of Uri Lippman, a merchant, and Sarah Cohen. Leeser’s mother died in 1814, and his father invited his own mother, Gitla, to raise his children. In 1820 Leeser’s father and grandmother died. A benefactor took responsibility for the orphaned boy and arranged for him to attend a good school in Münster, where he received an excellent general education. In his Jewish studies, he was greatly influenced by Rabbi Abraham Sutro, a staunch religious traditionalist....