Skip to main content

Blis, David


BLIS, DAVID (1870–1942), Cuban communal leader. David Blizhnianski-Halpern was born in Grodno and studied in a yeshivah in Volozhin. He continued his studies in the Rabbinical Seminary in Breslau and the Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati. He joined his parents, who settled in *Moisesville (Argentina), but he continued his travels, being more interested in business than in agriculture. He lived in Mexico for a few years and participated in the foundation of the first Jewish organization there, Alianza Monte Sinai (1912). He apprently lent money to President Francisco Madero and fled from Mexico following his assassination, reaching Cuba in 1913. Blis took an active part in the foundation of almost all the early Jewish organizations of Cuba and was later nicknamed "the grandfather of the Jewish community." He founded the Young Men's Hebrew Association (1916), a common social framework for Americans and Sephardim in Cuba. From the early 1920s he took an active part in assisting immigrants from Eastern Europe, and was co-founder (1924) and president of the Centro Hebreo, and the president of the Centro Israelita, which developed from it. From 1933 to 1934 he was president of the Comisión Jurídica, which protected the Jewish community during the political upheavals of that period.

Blis was an ardent Zionist and promoted the early Zionist activities of the Sephardi Jews. As one of the most prominent members of the Unión Sionista he was named honorary president in 1937. On Blis's initiative the Cuban Senate approved unanimously in 1919 a resolution supporting the efforts of the Jewish people to achieve self-determination and national independence‥


B. Sapir, Jewish Community of Cuba (1948), 18–21. add. bibliography: J. Hochstein, "David Blis," in: Havaner Lebn Almanaque 1947–48.

[Margalit Bejarano (2nd ed.)]

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Blis, David." Encyclopaedia Judaica. . 22 Apr. 2019 <>.

"Blis, David." Encyclopaedia Judaica. . (April 22, 2019).

"Blis, David." Encyclopaedia Judaica. . Retrieved April 22, 2019 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.