Rudolf Plaut was Rabbi to the Jewish community and a member of the Jewish Reform Movement.
Plaut was born in 1843 in Mackenzell in the electorate of Hesse. His father combined the roles of cattledealer, religious instructor, cantor, and kosher butcher (shochet) in the town of Hünfeld. Rudolf Plaut was the descendant of a longestablished Hessen Jewish family. He received his rabbinical training in Hamburg and Mainz, and studied philosophy and oriental languages at Leipzig University.
He worked as a rabbi in Schwersenz (to the east of Posnan) and in Karlsbad (Bohemia). He was called to Frankfurt in 1883 to become the second liberal rabbi and to assist Nehemias Brüll. This was done at the recommendation on the wife of Baron Mayer Carl von Rothschild: she had been impressed by his sermons when visiting Karlsbad. He was regarded as a gifted orator, and was greatly appreciated within the community for his spiritual care.
He became blind in 1903 and was compelled to retire.
He died in 1914 in Frankfurt and was buried in the cemetery in RatBeil