Rabbi Jacob Maze served as chief rabbi of Moscow from 1893 until his death on Dec. 19, 1924.
A Zionist pioneer and Hebrew language revivalist, Maze started his public career a contributor for the Hebrew daily paper Ha’meilitz. He was also remembered for his role as expert witness during the 1913 blood libel trial against Mendel Beilis, who was ultimately acquitted.
After the death of Lenin, Maze stated that "the Jewish laboring class is deeply afflicted by the death of Lenin, the ‘Champion of freedom’ for national minorities and toilers."
Maze’s health deteriorated in 1924, with the rabbi suffering multiple hemmorrhages and losing his vision before his death at the age of 65.
In JTA’s 1986 obituary of longtime editor Boris Smolar, it was noted that Smolar helped secure the release of Maze’s son, Saadiah, from prison in 1928.
In 2007, a sample of books from Maze’s library were on display during the first exhibition of the Russian State Library’s massive Judaica collection.
More reading on the life and death of Rabbi Maze:
On the imprisonment and release of Saadiah Maze: