Samuel Menz
Samuel Menz (1800–1876), Innkeeper and Assistant Rabbi

Samuel Menz was born in Hohenems on December 3, 1800, the son of Michael Moos and Babette Hauser. His family was poor and pious. His father ran a small wine tavern and worked as a teacher for the Jewish community. After the early death of his father, Babette alone raised the nine children and took over the inn “Zum Schwert” (The Sword) opposite of the synagogue. From 1826 Samuel was in charge of the inn. At the same time he served the community as cantor, butcher, circumciser, teacher of religion and assistant rabbi. In 1829 he married Babette Bernheimer, with whom he had six children. In 1846 he became general agent of the insurance company “Riunione Adriatica” and his economic rise continued. As a collector, he was one of the co-founders of the Vorarlberger Landesmuseumsverein Vorarlberg State Museum Association) and from 1859 to 1868 he served mayor of the local Israelite community that had become a political entity in 1849. Under his leadership the synagogue was redesigned in 1867 in the spirit of reform. After a long illness, Samuel Menz passed away in 1876 and was buried in the Jewish cemetery in Hohenems.