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The Genealogical Research Division of

German Refugee Rabbis in the United States 1933-1990
Compiled by Susan Lauscher

How to Search

Search for a rabbi’s name in English, German, or a native language. You will find a limited amount of information indexed. For more detailed information, go to the website here.

Personal Information Included

  • Date of Birth
  • Place of Birth
  • Date of Death
  • Place of Death
  • Family members, including siblings, and their fates during WWII.
  • Extensive curriculum vitae including schooling, where employed and position before leaving, emigration path and dates, where they went in the U.S., where employed, and the positions held, Jewish and non-Jewish organizations they were associated with, causes they were involved with while in the U.S., where and when they were ordained, what branch of Judaism associated with, what they wrote, and what archives contain their writings
  • Links to Biographical Information
  • Bibliographies
  • Library Holdings


The German Refugee Rabbis in the United States 1933 – 1990 database is part of a website funded by the German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, to display the results of a research project by the Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich. The website is The data on the website is from April 2019.

The purpose of the website is to trace migration paths and careers of German rabbis who fled to the United States from Nazi Germany after 1933. The website contains not only biographical information about 176 individuals but also general narratives about the history of the German rabbinate, the plight of German rabbis during the Nazi period, how and when they escaped, where they went, and the success (or not) of their resettlement.

What is Included/Excluded in the Database

The database of 176 names includes as “German” Jews those who received their education at Jewish Theological Seminary in Breslau (1854), the Hochschule für die Wissenschaft des Judentums in Berlin (1872), or the Orthodox Rabbinical Seminary in Berlin (1873). Even if their citizenship was not German, those who were born in Germany, and those who were German refugees and were outspoken about coming from a German rabbinical tradition, even if educated in an American seminary after emigration. “Rabbis” are defined broadly for purposes of inclusion in the database: those who were ordained or received a semicha, those who were not formally ordained but held the status of a “reverend” within an American congregation, and, in very few cases, those whose emigration was made possible under the assumption that they were going into the rabbinate or would continue their studies for the rabbinate. Also, scholars who relocated to the United States with the assistance of the rabbinical seminaries providing a non-quota visa and employment or research opportunities as faculty are included. Included are also students of the seminaries who did not study for the rabbinate, ordained rabbis who did not officiate and pursued scholarly careers, and rabbis who have played a significant role as scholars in the development of their religious movements or seminaries.

Search the Database

The collection can be searched via the JewishGen USA Database.

Search the JewishGen USA Database
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Last Update: February 2023, Avraham Groll
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