Rabbi Isaac MayerRead More →

1809 – 1897
Born: Alsace Lorraine
Served: Congregation Beth Israel

Rabbi Isaac Mayer became the first rabbi of the then Orthodox Congregation Beth Israel in Hartford on April 1, 1856 and served in that capacity for 11 years, until 1867. His obituary in the Meriden Journal described him as a scholarly man with a strong personality. Rabbi Mayer taught Hebrew and was active in the Ararat Lodge of B’nai B’rith, where he was secretary from 1863 to 1867. He was also the author of a German translation of a book of Hebrew proverbs and a widely-circulated Hebrew grammar book that was used for instruction in many institutions throughout country.

During the Civil War, one of Isaac Mayer’s sons, Dr. Nathan Mayer, was a surgeon with the Union forces. He became well known for his professional work at St. Francis Hospital (later, Mt. Sinai Hospital), and as a writer, poet, and music and critic for the Hartford Times for over 40 years.