The People in the Books: Hebraica and Judaica Manuscripts from Columbia University Libraries

Communities > Baron Hirsch letter


Igeret el ha-Baron Hirsh ʻal haḳamat bet ha-ḥolim Osef Dal be-Ioannina.
Manuscript in Hebrew on paper.
Greece, 1896.
MS X893.19 H61
Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Baron Maurice de Hirsch was an important 19th century German Jewish financier and philanthropist who strongly believed in Jewish advancement through agriculture and education. His philanthropic work included funding Jewish agricultural colonies in Brazil and Argentina, establishing the Baron de Hirsch Foundation to support education in Galicia and Bukovina, and aiding Jewish immigrants in New York and Canada. Upon the death of his son, Baron de Hirsch famously said: “My son I have lost, but not my heir; humanity is my heir.”  In this letter, the Jewish community of Ioannina (Greece) asks Baron de Hirsch to help fund the “Osef Dal,” a hospital for poor people in the community. Baron de Hirsch died the year this letter was written, so it is likely that this request for aid went unanswered.


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