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SIMON, MORITZ ALEXANDER:

German banker and philanthropist; born at Hanover Nov. 27, 1837; died there 1905. Educated at his native town, he became associated there with the banking-house of Ezechiel Simon. Later he spent some years in New York, and, upon returning to Hanover, founded the banking-house of Moritz Alexander Simon. In New York, Simon had become acquainted with the misery of the poor Jewish immigrants from eastern Europe, and he contributed to the funds of the organizations founded in the eighties for the purpose of assisting the Rumanian Jews. Having come to the conclusion that the so-called Jewish question was a social one, which might partially be solved by educating the younger generation to become artisans and farmers, he opened in 1893 the Israelitische Erziehungsanstalt at Ahlem, a small place near Hanover. The aim of this school is to educate its pupils in "agriculture and handicraft—means of living from which the Jews, through the circumstances of time and condition, have been excluded for centuries. . . ." The pupils are divided into two sections: children between six and fourteen years of age, and apprentices between fourteen and seventeen; in the first department the children receive a common-school education together with instruction in horticulture, wood-working, and in the making of pasteboard boxes. The second department gives instruction in various trades. Up to the present (1905) the institution has trained about 170 gardeners, artisans, and teachers, who are employed not only in Germany but also in Russia, Rumania, Galicia, Palestine, and America. Simon bequeathed $750,000 to the "Erziehungsanstalt."

Bibliography:
  • W. Liebmann, in Ost und West, March, 1905, pp. 198 et seq. (with illustrations).
S. F. T. H.
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