Hyman Hurwitz: the First Anglo-Jewish Professor

Hyman Hurwitz is one of the few Jews who have found a place in that greatest of English reference books, the Dictionary of National Biography. It is there stated, in an unsigned article, that Hurwitz was born at Posen in Poland in 1770, came to England about 1800, conducted a private academy for Jews at Highgate, established a close friendship with Coleridge, became Professor of Hebrew in University College, London, in 1828, and died in 1844. Then follows a list of his published works taken from the British Museum Cata? logue. The chief source of information about the outlines of Hurwitz’s career, apart from this short and rather bleak note in the Diction? ary of National Biography, is the obituary which appeared in the Voice of Jacob on 2 August 1844, written by Leopold Neumegen, who took over Hurwitz’s Academy from him. He says that Hurwitz’s father had preceded other

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