Abraham Sutro

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Abraham Sutro

Birthdate: (85)
Birthplace: Bruck, Erlangen, Mittelfranken, Bayern, Germany
Death: October 10, 1869 (85)
Münster, Münster, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
Immediate Family:

Son of Samuel Abraham Sutro and Esther Sutro
Husband of Rebecca Culp
Father of Anna Sutro; Samuel Sutro; Rachel Sutro Windmüller; Sara Sutro; Lea Sutro and 5 others
Brother of Simon Sutro; Löb Samuel Sutro; Emmanuel Sutro; Adelheid Weinberg; Yereth Frankenheimer and 1 other

Occupation: grand rabbin de Westphalie
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Abraham Sutro

Abraham Sutro (5 July 1784, Erlangen-Bruck–10 October 1869, Münster) was the last chief rabbi of Westphalia.


Sutro attended yeshivas in Fürth and Prague, and subsequently worked as a private tutor in Prague, Aschaffenburg and Kassel before obtaining a permanent position as a Jewish religious teacher in that last city. When Westphalia fell to the Prussians in 1815 fell, Sutro was provisionally appointed Chief Rabbi of Münster and the counties of Mark and Limburg by Ludwig von Vincke.

While until 1830 Sutro embraced innovations such as preaching in German and employing organs in synagogues, as Chief Rabbi he pursued a different policy. Sutro insisted on the cultural autonomy of the Jewish minority and its separation from Christian majority society, and campaigned for the preservation of orthodox ritual against the Reform Judaism of Alexander Haindorf, with whom he had a lifelong rivalry. Between 1836 and 1864 he published his most important work, Milchamot Hashem, in four volumes.

Although Sutro's influence in the community had been much reduced by the prevalence of the Reform tendency, he was granted the Order of the Red Eagle fourth class by King Friedrich Wilhelm IV to celebrate his 50th year of tenure. Sutro also campaigned for full legal equality for Jews, which would be finally achieved on the year of his death.

Sutro died on 10 October 1869 in Münster and was buried on the Jewish cemetery. His grave is preserved and bears the inscription:

For 57 years a faithful teacher and champion of Israel.

(From Wikipedia)

1) About Abraham Sutro: http://www.juedischeliteraturwestfalen.de/index.php?valex=101&vArticle=1&author_id=00000032&id=1

2) GenAmi 30

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Abraham Sutro's Timeline

July 5, 1784
Erlangen, Mittelfranken, Bayern, Germany
July 23, 1812
Age 28
Beverungen, Detmold, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
November 18, 1813
Age 29
Beverungen, Detmold, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
Age 29
Beverungen, Detmold, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
March 11, 1821
Age 36
Münster, Münster, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
May 19, 1823
Age 38
Münster, Münster, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
November 21, 1826
Age 42
Münster, Münster, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
March 1, 1829
Age 44
Münster, United States
April 13, 1831
Age 46
Münster, Münster, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany