- MENDEL, wealthy family prominent in Hungary in the late 15th and early 16th centuries. It appears that the family went there from Germany and they seem to have been in Buda from 1470. On the suggestion of the royal treasurer, the apostate János Ernuszt, King Matthias Corvinus (1458–90) granted to members of the Mendel family the office of praefectus judaeorum . Probably the family was friendly with Ernuszt or may even had been related to him. First to hold the office was JUDAH (c. 1470). He was succeeded by his son JACOB (1493–1522), who was particularly respected. A record of his seal, inscribed with his initials, still exists. Next in office was ISRAEL (1523–26), who was followed by ISAAC (1527–39). With the expulsion of the Jews from Buda to Turkey (1526; see budapest ) and the conquest of the town the family declined; the office of Praefectus Judaeorum also ceased to exist at that time. A prominent member of the family was MENDEL SCHWARTZ, one of the most important financiers of the Hungarian capital. He is mentioned for the last time in 1526. Members of the Mendel family were also to be found in other Hungarian towns, such as in Sopron, but those mentioned in Pressburg were almost certainly identical with the Buda branch, who also owned houses in Pressburg. -BIBLIOGRAPHY: S. Kohn, A zsidók története Magyarországon (1884), 220–2; S. Bśchler, A zsidók története Budapesten (1901), 48–51; Sz. Balog, A magyarországi zsidók kamaraszolgasága (1907), 68–69; B. Mandl, in: Mult és Jövő, 5 (1915), 304–5; Magyar Zsido Lexikon (1929), 586; P. Gruenwald, in: N.M. Gelber Jubilee Volume (1963). (Andreas Kubinyi)
Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.