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Katz is a common German surname. It is also one of the oldest and most common Ashkenazi Jewish surnames.

Germans with the last name Katz may originate in the Rhine River region of Germany, where the Katz Castle is located.

(The name of the castle does not derive from Katze, cat, but from Katzenelnbogen, going back to Latin Cattimelibocus, consisting of the ancient Germanic tribal name of the Chatti and Melibokus.)

Katzman, deriving from the German Katz, is a Slavic name meaning high priest or king. It is believed the Katzman surname originates from Germany and has roots from there as well.

As a Jewish surname, Katz is an abbreviation formed from the Hebrew initials of the term Kohen Tzedeq (כּ״ץ), meaning "priest of justice." It has been used since the seventeenth century, or perhaps somewhat earlier, as an epithet of the descendants of Aaron.

The collocation is most likely derived from Melchizedek ("king of righteousness"), who is called the priest ("kohen") of the most high God (Genesis xiv. 18), or perhaps from Psalm cxxxii. 9: Let thy priests be clothed with righteousness ("tzedeq"). The use of the abbreviated and Germanicized "Katz" likely coincided with the imposition of German names on Jews in Germany in the 18th or 19th centuries.

If the reading is correct, this abbreviation occurs on a tombstone, dated 1536, in the cemetery of Prague (Hock, Die Familien Prag's, p. 175); it is found also on a tombstone of the year 1618 in Frankfurt (M. Horowitz (Moses Horowitz?), Die Inschriften des Alten Friedhofes der Israelitischen Gemeinde zu Frankfurt-am-Main 1901, p. 63), in the books of the Soncino family of Prague of the seventeenth century (Zunz, Z.G. p. 262), and in one of the prefaces to Shabbethai ben Meïr ha-Kohen's notes on the Choshen Mishpat (Amsterdam, 1663).

The name Katz has a website devoted to All Things Katz.

People surnamed Katz include:

  • Ada Katz, American artist's model
  • Alex Katz, American artist
  • Allan Katz, American comedy writer
  • Amir Katz, Israeli born musician
  • Andy Katz, American college basketball journalist
  • Sir Bernard Katz, British biophysicist (born in Germany)
  • Boris Katz, computer scientist
  • Daniel Katz, American psychologist (1903–1998)
  • Daniel Katz (politician), Mayor of Mar del Plata, Argentina
  • Danny Katz (columnist), Australian columnist and author
  • Daryl Katz, Canadian drug store owner, owner of Edmonton Oilers
  • David Katz (author), British music historian and journalist
  • Dovid Katz, Lithuanian-American Yiddishist and academic
  • Elias Katz, Finnish 3,000-m team steeplechase Olympic champion
  • Elihu Katz, American sociologist
  • Emily Katz Social worker and cradle robber.
  • Erich Katz (1900–1973), an German-born musicologist and Jewish refugee
  • Harold Katz, American entrepreneur
  • Jacob Katz, Israeli historian
  • Jay Katz (disambiguation), name/pseudonym for several people
  • Jeffrey Katz, American music producer
  • Jerrold Katz, American philosopher and linguist
  • Jon Katz (born 1947), American journalist and writer
  • Jonathan Katz (born 1946), American comedian, actor, and voice actor
  • Jonathan David Katz (born 1958), American professor
  • Jonathan Ned Katz (born 1938), historian of LGBT American history
  • Joseph Katz, Comintern member, CPUSA and Soviet spy
  • Emmanuel Mané-Katz, Ukraine-born Israeli artist
  • Mickey Katz, American comedian and musician
  • Mike Katz, American bodybuilder
  • Nathan Katz (professor), American professor
  • Nathan Katz (poet), Alsatian poet
  • Nicholas Katz, an American mathematician
  • Omri Katz, an American-Israeli actor
  • Paul Katz, American cellist
  • Phil Katz, American computer programmer
  • Phoebe Cates (born Phoebe Belle Katz), American actress
  • Randy H. Katz, UC Berkeley professor
  • Ronald A. Katz, inventor
  • Robert Katz (1933-2010), American novelist, screenwriter, and non-fiction author
  • Ryan Katz, professional wrestler billed as "GQ Money"
  • Sam Katz, mayor of the city of Winnipeg, Manitoba
  • Sidney A. Katz, mayor of the City of Gaithersburg, Maryland
  • Shemuel Katz (1926–2010), Israeli artist
  • Samuel Katz (disambiguation)
  • Stu Katz, jazz pianist and vibraphonist
  • Tamar Katz, Israeli figure skater living in the United States
  • Welwyn Wilton Katz, Canadian children's author
  • William Loren Katz, American historian, specializing in African American history
  • Yuri Katz, Ukraine-born American music producer


The village

"The village of Daleshova, one of the villages in the district of "Horodenka", was home to forty-eight people. Most of these villages were near the "Dniester River", and only a strip of thick forest separated them from the river. The dwellers of these villages were primarily Russians who spoke Ukrainian, while a small percentage of them were Poles who had assimilated among the Russians and forgotten the Polish language.

Daleshova, before the First World War, there were ten Jewish families who had inhabited the village for many generations. After the war, however, only five families remained; the rest of the families scattered to nearby cities, and a group of them fled, immigrating to America. The Jews of the village were mainly involved in farming, and some of them in business – for how could a Jew separate completely from business and not go every Tuesday to market day in Horodenka? In general, poor village peasants, who were forced to work as day laborers in order to eke out their living, did the actual work of the fields that were owned by the Jews. They were very jealous of the Jews who lived a relatively more comfortable life, without having to work so hard.

Almost every day, Jews from the neighboring cities would come to the village. Their livelihood came from visiting the village on a daily basis to buy and sell; afterward they would return to their homes at night. The place that they lodged in the village was called "the Kalmanke", where they could obtain tallisim and tefillin for prayer, and where they could obtain breakfast after davening.

About individuals

The woman, who was known as "Di Kalmanke", was "Baila", wife of "Kalman Katz", and oldest daughter of "Fruma" and "Yosef Shneur". Yosef Shneur was a wealthy Jew, who had no sons, but did have three daughters. He wrote a sefer Torah that, before his death, he directed to be given over to his learned son-in-law, "Kalman Katz", who would say his kaddish. So the Torah remained in the house of Kalman Katz, where every Shabbos many Jews from the neighboring villages would gather to pray. After the "death of Kalman Katz in 1915", the Torah remained in the hands of the Kalmanke, and when we had to leave the village because of the Russian invasion, the Torah was transferred to one of the farmers to guard until we returned to the village. When we returned to the village after the war, the Torah was restored to the Kalmanke, and she immediately had it checked, as prescribed by law. From that time on, people began to gather again in her house to pray on the Sabbath, as in the days when her husband been alive. Pursuant to her request, the Torah stayed as an inheritance in the family of her daughter Raize Bidar, whose husband fell in war; she remained a widow with two daughters. These two widows, the mother and daughter, ran the very large farm with great skill.

The Jewish youth in the villages were generally wholesome children who received their education in the central cities or in more distant cities, and weren't much different than city children. However, I must point out that there was always a palpable barrier between the village and the city youth, both in school and on the street. The villagers would wait with longing for vacation, where they would meet up with their peers from their own village and from nearby villages. When the school season would end, many of them would return to their villages and would be occupied, like their parents, in farming and in business. In each of their hearts was implanted an abundant love for the village of their birth.

Most of the youth belonged to the Zionist movement, and they longed to move to the land of Israel. In the evening, they would gather for activities and clubs with friends from the city, who in the village had been involved in training teachers of young children. These teachers were close to the village children, and knew how to reach them. Many of the village youth went out for training, but only a few of them merited to move to the land of Israel, and they scattered to all parts of the land Source

The Village of Daleshova

Dr. B. Lagstein

Translated by Yehudis Fishman