Antebi, Albert

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ANTEBI, ALBERT (Avraham ; 1869–1918), leader of the Jewish community in Ereẓ Israel. Antebi was born into a prosperous rabbinical family in Damascus and was educated at the Alliance Israélite Universelle school there. He was sent by the Alliance to further his education in Paris. In 1896 he was appointed chief assistant to Nissim *Behar, director of Alliance institutions in Ereẓ Israel, and replaced Behar when the latter retired in 1898. Antebi served as director of the Alliance trade school and established a workshop for hand-weaving in Jerusalem. He was also instrumental in the establishment of new quarters in the city and was elected to the Jerusalem District Council. Antebi was later appointed representative of i.c.a. (Jewish Colonization Association) in Ereẓ Israel and represented the Palestine office of the Zionist Organization in its contacts with the Ottoman authorities. Because of his knowledge of the Turkish language and way of life, he was well liked by the Turkish officials, who regarded him as the chief spokesman of the Jewish community. On the outbreak of World War i, Antebi succeeded in persuading the commander in chief in Syria, Jamal Pasha, to commute the sentence of banishment passed against leaders of the Jewish community to 14 days confinement to Tiberias. In 1916 he was exiled to Damascus and two years later he went to Constantinople to plead for the refugees and exiles from Ereẓ Israel. He was unsuccessful in this mission, and was sent as an enlisted soldier to the eastern Anatolia front. There he caught typhoid fever and was transferred to Constantinople, where he died.


M. Dizengoff, Im Tel Aviv ba-Golah (1931), 87–95; M.D. Gaon, Yehudei ha-Mizraḥ be-Ereẓ Yisrael, 2 (1937), 521f.; M. Smilansky, Mishpaḥat ha-Adamah, 2 (19542), 158–62.

[Yehuda Slutsky]