Weissmandel's activities were interrupted by the outbreak of the war, which transformed him into a modern-day shtadlan
, an intercessor on behalf of Jewish political affairs.
Yet, as stated above, he was not a shtadlan
, a "court Jew," in the mold of an Oscar Straus.
The council consisted of a president (Obervorsteher, Obervorganger, or Oberparnas) who was frequently also the shtadlan
and the Court Jew.
One quasi-institutionalized role that transcended the kahal and post-kahal periods is that of shtadlan
, a Hebrew term designating "public-spirited Jews who defend the interest of their coreligionists before the Government" (Dubnow 1916, 111).
The setback to Marshall's expansionist agenda seemed so terrifyingly complete that he could not even play the highly circumscribed role of traditional shtadlan
and protect a pocketful of the Old World's most pious Jews.
While no doubt there are strong personalities in today's American Jewish community, the role of individual leaders--the shtadlan
model, in which well placed influential Jews argued the community's case before the king or czar--has virtually disappeared.