Belkind

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BELKIND

BELKIND , Ereẓ Israel family of the First *Aliyah.

meir belkind

(1827–1898), one of the first teachers of the modern Hebrew school system in Ereẓ Israel, was born in Logoisk, Belorussia, and followed his sons, Israel and Shimshon, to Ereẓ Israel at the beginning of the 1880s. He settled first in Jaffa and later in *Gederah, where he served as rabbi for the new settlers. Although a traditional Jew himself, he defended the *Bilu'im against the attacks of the religious zealots. When his son Israel established the first Hebrew school in Jaffa in 1889, Belkind became its teacher for religious subjects, thus molding the method of religious instruction in the modern schools of Ereẓ Israel.

israel

(1861–1929), one of the founders of Bilu, was born in Logoisk. In 1882, while studying at Kharkov University, he was among the students who founded the Bilu movement and went to Ereẓ Israel at the head of its first group. He led the opposition against Baron Edmond de *Rothschild's officials and, on being expelled by them from Rishon le-Zion, settled in Gederah. In 1889 Belkind opened a private Hebrew school in Jaffa. He was accepted as a teacher at the *Alliance Israélite Universelle in Jerusalem in 1892, and there published several textbooks. In 1903 he founded an agricultural training school at Shefeyah (near Zikhron Ya'akov) for orphans of the Kishinev pogroms whom he brought to Ereẓ Israel. However, the school was forced to close down in 1906 because of lack of funds. During World War i Belkind resided in the U.S., where he published his memoirs in Yiddish, Di Ershte Shrit fun Yishuv Erets Yisroel ("The First Steps of the Jewish Settlement of Palestine," 1918).

Apart from numerous articles and popular pamphlets, Belkind published a geography of Palestine, Ereẓ Yisrael ba-Zeman ha-Zeh ("The Land of Israel Today," 1928). He died in Berlin, where he had gone for medical treatment. His remains were interred in Rishon le-Zion.

shimshon

(1864–1937), a Bilu pioneer, was born in Logoisk. He joined the Bilu movement in Russia and settled in Ereẓ Israel in 1883. He worked at various crafts in Jerusalem, Mikveh Israel, and Rishon le-Zion, and in 1888 moved to Gederah, where he was a farmer. His sons Na'aman and Eytan were members of *Nili.

na'aman

(1889–1917) was a member of Nili and was executed by the Turks. He was employed in the Rishon le-Zion wine cellars, where he came into contact with visiting Turkish officers. He joined Nili together with his cousin Avshalom *Feinberg. In September 1917, while attempting to reach Egypt to investigate the circumstances of Feinberg's death, he was caught by Bedouin who handed him over to the Turkish authorities. He was taken to Damascus, tried, convicted for spying, and hanged in the winter of 1917, together with Yosef *Lishansky. He was later buried in Rishon le-Zion.

bibliography:

D. Idelovitch (ed.), Rishon le-Ẓiyyon (1941), 76–81; M. Smilansky, Mishpaḥat ha-Adamah, 2 (1944), 128–32; A. Yaari, Goodly Heritage (1958), index; A. Engle, Nili Spies (1959), index.

[Yehuda Slutsky]

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