French communal worker; born in Weissenburg, Alsace, 1828; died in Paris Sept. 27, 1892. Having received a thorough Jewish education from his father, he went to Paris in 1835. Sent by his employers to Alexandria, Egypt, to organize there a branch of their house, he became acquainted with the condition of the Jews in the East. He likewise acquired there a knowledge of the Italian and Arabic languages; in French, Hebrew, English, and German he was already proficient. He then visited Palestine, and began to take an active part in the colonization movement. As an active member of the Alliance Israélite Universelle, he assisted Charles Netter in establishing at Jaffa the agricultural school known as "Miḳweh Yisrael."
He succeeded Albert Cohn in the management of the Rothschild charities, served the Alliance Israélite Universelle, the Jewish Consistory, and the rabbinical seminary of Paris as vice-president, and became president of the Société des Etudes Juives. He was the prime mover in the founding of the Rothschild colonies in Palestine established on behalf of the Jews who were driven by the persecutions of 1882 and 1891 to leave Russia; he was assisted in his efforts by Isidore Loeb, and both were sent by the Alliance to Berlin to organize committees for the aid of Russian emigrants, which benevolent enterprise afterward received the support of Baron de Hirsch. Erlanger was strongly attracted by the life and associations of Palestine, and he was desirous of spending the last years of his life there; but his work in behalf of his coreligionists kept him in Europe to the end.
- Ha-Asif, vi. 159-160;
- Arch. Isr. 1892, pp. 326-327.