About Menachem Ussishkin

Menachem Ussishkin
Menachem Ussishkin Harvard Library

Menachem Mendel Ussishkin 1863−1941

Born 1863 in Dubrovna, Russia, he was one of tne first and foremost leaders of the Zionist movement and President of the Jewish National Fund (KKL) from 1921 up to his death in 1941.

After graduating as an engineer in Moscow in 1889, he resided in Yekaterinoslav. A Zionist since his early youth, he was among the founders of BILU and of the Moscow branch of the Hovevei Zion. He was also a member of the Bnei Moshe society founded by Ahad Ha-Am. He first visited Palestine in 1891. Four years later he joined Theodor Herzl and the political Zionist movement, but became a strong opponent of the leader when the Uganda issue was fought out at the 6th Congress. He organized the opposition to Herzl in Russia and later opposed his successor, Wolfsohn as well. An uncompromising fighter for practical steps to implement the Zionist cause, he was one of the Jewish delegates to the Paris peace conference after World War I. In 1920 he was appointed head of the Zionist Commission in Palestine and in that capacity he initiated many land purchases. Two years later, under his dynamic guidance, the Jewish National Fund (KKL) became the main instrument for redeeming and reclaiming the soil of the ancient homeland on behalf of the Jewish people.

As the President of the Jewish National Fund, Ussishkin was involved in the design and production of the Golden Book V.

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