Baratz, Joseph

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BARATZ, JOSEPH (1890–1968), Zionist labor leader; a founder of the collective settlement movement in Ereẓ Israel. Baratz was born in Kamenets, Ukraine. In Ereẓ Israel, where he settled in 1906, he worked as a laborer. In 1910, he became one of the founders of the first kevuẓah, *Deganyah. He was a leading figure in the *Ha-Po'el ha-Ẓa'ir Party (and later in *Mapai), and opened the founding conference of the *Histadrut in Haifa in 1920. During World War ii and the Israel War of Independence, Baratz devoted himself to the welfare needs of the Jewish soldiers in Ereẓ Israel, becoming chairman of the Israel Soldiers' Aid Committee in 1948. The Soldiers' House (Beit ha-Ḥayyal) in Tel Aviv is named for him. He was a member of the First Knesset. His books include A Village by the Jordan: the Story of Degania (1954), which appeared in 13 languages; and Im Ḥayyaleinu ("With Our Soldiers," 1945). His wife, Miriam (née Ostrovsky), was one of the first settlers of the Second Aliyah, living and working in Deganyah from its founding.


Tidhar, 3 (1958), 1402; B. Shohetman, Divrei J. Baratz (1950), incl. bibl.; D. Lazar, Rashim be-Yisrael, 2 (1955), 233–7.

[Abraham Aharoni]