Alternate name: Israel Isidor(or Isidore) Auerbach

Israel Auerbach was born in April 1878 in Wissek, Germany, the son of Borukh-Mendel (Baruch Menachim) Auerbach, a rabbi in the town forest of Ritschenwalde in the former Prussian province of Posen (Poznan) (today Ryczywól in Poland).

A respected Berlin educator, he held a doctorate in history - hence the title "Dr."

Bar Kochba Sports Club

In 1898 he participated in the creation of the first Jewish German sports club in Berlin.

He was the president of "Bar Kochba" in Berlin and the president of the Association of Jewish Gymnastics Societies in Germany, as well as the editor of the journal "Jüdische Turnzeitung".
In a 1901 issue of Ost und West, he published the "Song of the Bar Kochba Berlin Jewish Sports Organization."

Switzerland ?

Israel appears to have been in Switzerland around 1904-1905. In June 1904, he sent the following card written in French from Switzerland to introduce himself to Ronya, Bertha's sister:

To Ronja Datnowsky, Windau, Russland.

"Although you don't know me (...) I take the liberty to send you my best regards. I hope to meet the dear brother and sisters of my friend Bertha. Best regards to your parents".

"Quoi que je ne vous suis pas connu (...) je me permet de vous envoyer mes salutations. Ainsi j'espere faire la connaissance des chers freres et soeurs de mon amie Bertha. Salutations a vos parents."

Later, in May 1905, he gave Bertha's younger sister Ronya a leather-bound notebook for her birthday. He was then in Bern, as the following dedication indicates:

Seiner liebchen Ronya
zum geburtstag
von Israel Auerbach
auf der Reise nach Palastina, Bern, 8 Mai 1905

To dear Ronya
on your birthday
from Israel Auerbach
on his trip to Palestine, Bern, May 8 1905

The same inscription indicates that he must have taken a trip to Palestine that same year.


Israel married Bertha Datnowsky in December 1905.

The Riga Rabbinate Vital Records - Libau, 1891
Record Nº Year reg Date of marriage Place Surname of the Groom Given name of the Groom Age of the Groom Father of the Groom Surname of the Bride Given name of the Bride Age of the Bride Father of the Bride Rabbi or Officiant Witnesses Dowry Place of origin of the Groom Place of origin of the Bride
44 1905 11/12/1905 Libava AUERBAKH Isidore 27 Borukh-Mendel DATNOVSKI Braina 23 Abram The Rabbi of Grobina KH. M. GRIN Abram RABINOVICH, M. SHNITKE not stated Pruskor Prussia Libava

(data from: The Riga Rabbinate Vital Records - Marriages in Libava/ Libau/ Liepaja in 1903, 1904, 1905.)

Note: All the dates are from the Julian calendar. Add 13 days to find the date on the Gregorian calendar(Western calendar) - so the marriage occured on December 24, 1905.

The couple had one daughter, Lea (Rosenberg) born in 1906.

Israel Auerbach with Lea, Cospoli

Israel Auerbach with Lea, Cospoli.


Israel Auerbach was sent to Constantinople in 1908 as the local representative of the Hilfsverein der Deutschen Juden ("Aid Association of German Jews"). He lived in the Galata neighborhood, located at the northern shore of the Golden Horn.

In Constinople, Israel continued to be involved in Jewish Sports organizations, and joined the leadership of the Maccabi Club.

In "HaMaccabi Be'Artzot HaBalkan" (The Maccabi in Balkan States), p96, David Rimon wrote:

"A few weeks after the Young Turks revolution [July 1908], [...] Dr Israel Auerbach, the representative in Turkey of the German Jewish "Ezra" society ["Hilfsverein der Deutschen Juden"] and a reporter of the official Zionist weekly "Die Welt" arrived in Constantinople."

"Dr. Auerbach, who prior to his arrival in Constantinople had been the president of "Bar Kochba" in Berlin and the president of the Association of Jewish Gymnastics Societies in Germany, as well as the editor of the journal "J├╝dische Turnzeitung", joined the management of the Maccabi association in Constantinople and contributed his talent and extensive experience in both the organisational and technical fields".

[...] [In October 1908], the Israelite Gymnastics Association held a gymnastics celebration in honor of Dr. Israel Auerbach, and in the same year (1908) a large gymnastics celebration was held in which Jamal Pasha, son-in-law of Sheikh al-Islam and the Minister of State, participated.

David Rimon, p100:

"Most of the members in the suburbs [of Constantinople] were Sephardim, while in the city center one bloc of the two communities was formed, which led to the creation of a joint Maccabi committee of the Sephardim and Ashkenazim, consisting of HH: Moritz Abramovich - chairman, Dr. Israel Auerbach, Haim Avraham and more."

A short note in l'Aurore dated June 17, 1910, lists the newly-elected members of the Pera section committee. Dr. Israel Auerbach's name appears as assistant manager.

L'Aurore, June 1910

L'Aurore, June 17, 1910.


In Constantinople, Israel Auerbach was director of the School of the Hilfsverein der Deutschen Juden from 1908 to 1919.

He was the secretary of the B'nai B'rith Lodge, second only to its President, and published many articles about Turkey and Germany in the B'nai B'rith Magazine. He also contributed to "Die Welt", the weekly organ of the Zionist movement founded in 1897 by Theodor Herzl.

Die Welt article by Israel Auerbach, November 1911.

"Die Welt" article by Israel Auerbach, November 1911. (pdf, 6.5 MB)

Through Israel Auerbach's social network, Bertha introduced her sisters to their future husbands: Liska to Ascher Mallah, and Ronya to Moritz Abraham.

World War 1

In 1914, Bertha and Lea went to Germany on vacation. Soon after, the war broke out. Because it was now impossible to cross borders, the family would remain separated for the entire duration of the war.

Israel Auerbach, 1915

Israel Auerbach, 1915 (first from left)

Israel Auerbach, 1915

Israel Auerbach, 1915 (first from left), and Ronya Abraham (Datnowsky), second from right?

Lea Rubin, Fanny Rubin, Israel Auerbach, Ronya Abraham, Perlmutter. 1916.

Lea Rubin, Fanny Rubin, Israel Auerbach, Ronya Abraham, Perlmutter. 1916.

Perlmutter, Israel Auerbach, Fanny Rubin, Lea Rubin, Ronya Abraham, 1916

Perlmutter, Israel Auerbach, Fanny Rubin, Lea Rubin, Ronya Abraham, 1916

Ronya, Moritz, Israel Auerbach, 1918

Maurice M., Mrs. Moritz Abramovitz, Moritz Abraham, Braunstein, Irma, Israel Auerbach, Ronya Abraham, Aline and Jacky R. 1918

In 1919, with the end of WW1, Israel Auerbach was finally able to leave Constantinople and returned to Berlin, where he was reunited with his family. Israel and Bertha lived in Berlin until 1932, then moved for a while to Sèvres on the outskirts of Paris.


Israel and his family finally moved to Palestine in August 1937 and settled in Jerusalem. There Israel was a delegate of the Keren Hayessod - the Jewish National Fund.

Israel Auerbach, Jerusalem, 1940s

Israel Auerbach, Jerusalem, 1940s

(Photo courtesy of Dr. Gilad Rosenberg)

Israel Auerbach, Jerusalem, 1944

Israel Auerbach, Jerusalem, 1944

Israel Auerbach and Elias Auerbach

Israel and his brother Elias Auerbach.
(From left to right: Elias Auerbach, Israel Auerbach, unknown.)

(Photo courtesy of Jan Price)

Israel Auerbach died in 1956.

Book by Israel Auerbach

  • Mose Benjamin Harz-Verlag, Berlin-Wien. 1925. (play)

Articles by Israel Auerbach

List of poems and articles written by Israel Auerbach:
Click on "Suche" (Search) and enter "Israel Auerbach".

List of publications:

  • Ost und West (1901,1902, 1904)
  • Die Welt (1902,1903)
Special Thanks:
Dr. Gilad Rosenberg
The Riga Rabbinate Vital Records
Roman Sinkovsky. Jüdische Turnbewegung - Jewish German Gymnastic System in Turkey until 1918 (pdf) International Journal of Human Sciences, 2009.
David Rimon. "HaMaccabi Be'Artzot HaBalkan" (The Maccabi in Balkan states.) 1945
"De l'Egée et de la Baltique à la Seine", by Alex Mallat (unpublished memoir)

This family history project started September 2009.
All photos and documents belong to the author and are © Daniel Abraham, except for maps and where indicated.
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This is a work in progress. Please contact me if you have any more information to contribute.

Last Modified: Friday, September 2, 2022