Moses Mendelssohn was an 18th century German Jewish philosopher who ushered in the Jewish Enlightenment.  Born in Dessau, Germany, Mendelssohn moved as a young boy to Berlin, where he gained fame as a philosopher and colleague of the German author Gotthold Ephraim Lessing. 

His philosophy encouraged religious tolerance and assimilation of German and Jewish culture.  As a result, Mendelssohn is considered the father of Reform Judaism.  Towards the end of his life, Mendelssohn translated the Hebrew bible and psalms into German.  Mendelssohn’s grandson Felix became a great composer whose Wedding March remains among the most recognizable compositions performed throughout the world.