||Biographical sketches of 55 Jewish authors by Samuel Joseph Fuenn (Funn, 1818–1890), Hebrew writer of the more traditional wing of the Russian Haskalah and an early member of Hovevei Zion. He received a Talmudic education, and in secualar sciences. In 1848 the government appointed him professor of Hebrew and Jewish history in the newly founded rabbinical school of Vilna. Fuenn filled this position with great distinction until 1856, when he resigned. The government then appointed him superintendent of the Jewish public schools in the district of Vilna, in which he introduced instruction in the secular sciences and modern languages. He edited and published Ha-Karmel (1860–81), in which appeared the first chapters of his autobiography, Dor ve-Doreshav. Because of his moderate views on the Haskalah, his traditional way of life, and his financial independence, Fuenn achieved a prominent role in the leadership of the Vilna Jewish community.
His most important works are Keneset Yisrael (1886–90), a biographical lexicon of notable Jews, and Ha-Ozar, an extensive Hebrew dictionary; only the first volume appeared in Fuenn’s lifetime, the remaining three volumes were completed from his notes by S. P. Rabbinowitz (1900–03). A prolific writer, Fuenn’s other works include Divrei ha-Yamim li-Venei Yisrael (Vilna, 1871–77), a history of the Second Temple, Nidhe Yisrael, a history of the Jews and Jewish literature from the destruction of the Temple to 1170, (Vilna, 1850) and Kiryah Ne’emanah (Vilna, 1860), a monograph on the Vilna community, and textbooks and translations of juvenile historical novels and short stories.