BIERER, RUBIN (1835–1931), one of the first active Zionists and members of Ḥovevei Zion in Galicia, Austria, and Bulgaria. Bierer, who was born in Lemberg, completed his studies in medicine in 1863. He was a founder of the Jewish association Shomer Israel in Galicia. From the early 1880s he lived in Vienna, where he was a founder of the Jewish student organization *Kadimah (1882). In the same year, he was one of the founders of the Ahavat Zion society for the settlement of Ereẓ Israel, of which both Pereẓ *Smolenskin and Zalman Spitzer, the leader of the Orthodox Viennese community, were members. He published articles on the idea of Jewish nationhood and settlement of Ereẓ Israel in most of the German Jewish periodicals. Invited to Belgrade to serve as court physician, he transferred his Zionist activities there, and thereafter to Sofia, where he later lived. In Bulgaria he was a devoted assistant to *Herzl, who sent him the first copy of Der Judenstaat, inscribed "to the first pioneer of the Zionist idea." He returned to Lemberg in 1905, and continued his Zionist activities almost until his death.
T. Herzl, Complete Diaries, 5 (1960), index; N.M. Gelber, Toledot ha-Tenuah ha-Ẓiyyonit be-Galiẓyah, 2 (1958), index; Haolam (Dec. 22, 1931), 1003; eg, 10 (Bulgariya) (1967), index.