Benjamin Friedlander 1773-
Benjamin, the son of David Friedlaender (1750-1834), the contemporary and friend of Mendelssohn often considered a forerunner of Reform Judaism. He argued that prayers for friends and country should be substituted for the messianic hope, and that secular law should be studied rather than Talmud. He also was tireless in his efforts for Jewish political and civil rights in Prussia. At one point David had published an open letter proposing he and others undergo baptism in order to obtain political rights. His letter opened up a Pandora’s box of rage and insult on both sides.
Benjamin’s children however, came to a true faith, and he and his wife followed in their old age. He was 61 when he became a JBY.
This was evidently not a “conversion of convenience” as was regrettably so popular in those days. The whole family were known to be decided followers of Yeshua. One of the sons, a historian and numismatist, Julius Friedlaender (1913-1844), wrote a history of the Reformation, and a history of Numismatics and other historical works.
Arendt, Hannah. Rahel Varnhagen: The Life of a Jewess, ed. Liliane Weissberg
Bernstein, A. Jewish Witnesses for Christ. Keren Ahvah Meshihit, new edition 1999.
Graetz, Heinrich. History of the Jews , trans. Bella Löwy (Philadelphia: JPS, 1895), vol. 5, pp. 421-428.
Hess, Jonathan M. Germans, Jews and the Claims of Modernity (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2002), pp. 169-203.
Winston, Clara (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1997), p. 88.