Hirsch, Maurice, baron de (mōrēsˈ bärôNˈ də hĭrsh) [key], 1831–96, German Jewish financier and philanthropist. The benefactor of numerous organizations and causes, his most ambitious project was the Jewish Colonization Association (1891), an organization designed to facilitate the emigration of Jews from Russia to colonies in North and South America. He formulated this colonization plan after the Russian government had refused his offer of $10 million for the establishment of proper educational conditions for Jews in that country. His other philanthropic contributions included immense sums donated to the Alliance Israélite Universelle (the first international Jewish organization), to Galician schools, and to various London hospitals.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.