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HESS, MICHAEL:

German educator and author; born in Stadt-Lengsfeld, Weimar, April 9, 1782; died at Frankfort-on-the-Main Feb. 26, 1860; brother of Mendel Hess. His father, Rabbi Isaac Hess Kugelmann, destined him for a rabbinical career. After having studied at the yeshibah in Fürth, he went in 1804 to Frankfort-on-the-Main, where he was chosen as teacher for the young baron James von Rothschild. In Oct., 1806, he was elected principal of the Philanthropin, a newly established Jewish school at Frankfort, in which position he remained for forty-nine years. Hess also preached occasionally in the "Andachtssaal" connected with the school. He championed the rights of his coreligionists, and believed in the radical reform of Judaism.

Hess was the author of a number of pamphlets, as: "Ueber den Unterricht in der Religion und Moral" (1821); "Ueber die Wichtigkeit der Sittlichen Erziehung im Frühesten Alter" (1834); "Ueber Anwendung des Ehrtriebs in der Erziehung" (1839); "Ueber Mangelhaftigkeit der Sittlichen Erziehung" (1840); "Hindernisse der Sittlichen Bildung" (1846); "Ueber die Wirkung der Gewohnheit auf Sittliche Bildung" (1852). He also wrote: "Freimüthige Prüfung der Schrift des Herrn Prof. Rühs über die Ansprüche der Juden auf das Deutsche Bürgerrecht" (1816); "Vorläufige Bemerkungen zu der von Paulus Erschienenen Schrift: Die Jüdische Nationalabsonderung . . . mit einer Epistel der Hebräer an Dr. Paulus" (1831).

Bibliography:
  • S. Stern, Dr. Michael Hess, in Diesterweg's Pädagogisches Jahrbuch, 1862, pp. 1 et seq.;
  • Jost, Neuere Gesch. der, Juden, i. 55, 201;
  • Kayserling, Bibliothek Jüdischer Kanzelredner, i. 383.
S. M. K.
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