POPPER, family of entrepreneurs and communal leaders in Bohemia. Members of the Popper family from Breznice, Bohemia, attended the Leipzig fairs from the late 17th century. WOLF POPPER, the "Primate of Bohemian Jewry," was in charge of the collection of taxes for 18 years (1749–67). His son ḤAYYIM (Joachim; 1720–1795) moved to Prague and was a successful merchant (woolens, potash, whalebone), banker, manufacturer, and co-lessee of the profitable tobacco monopoly. In 1775 he is mentioned as holding his father's position in perpetuity. Joachim Popper was a patron of literature and also donated large sums to philanthropy, maintaining a balance between Christian and Jewish causes. In 1790 he was ennobled as Edler von Popper in recognition of his contributions to the welfare of the state. On the day he received his patent of nobility he presented a petition to Leopold II requesting the introduction in Bohemia of the more liberal Judenpatent of Galicia, which included obligatory military service for Jews. However, a group of Prague Jews presented a counterproposal arguing against conscription. He suggested reform of the system of taxation in 1792, the same year he resigned from office. On his death he bequeathed large sums to charity, and provided for the creation of a synagogue in his home in which prayer and study were to be subsidized perpetually. He also stipulated that his firm continue to bear his name. -BIBLIOGRAPHY: S. Krauss, Joachim Edler von Popper (1926); idem, in: Zeitschrift fuer die Geschichte der Juden in der Tschechoslovakei,   4 (1934), 40–44, 69–84; R. Kestenberg-Gladstein, Neuere Geschichte der Juden in den boehmischen Laendern (1969), index.

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

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