Brandt, Boris

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BRANDT, BORIS (Baruch ; 1860–1907), Russian Zionist, writer, and economist. Brandt, who was born in Makhnovka (now Komsomolskoye) near Berdichev, Ukraine, was educated in a ḥeder. Though he learned Russian only as an adult, he graduated with honors from the law faculty of Kiev University. He wrote many books and articles on economics and taxation and in 1897 was appointed a senior official and later member of the research committee of the Russian ministry of finance. He was an adviser to the minister Count Sergei Witte. Brandt was one of the few Jewish senior officials in the czarist government administration. A convinced and active Zionist, he was forced, as a civil servant, to conceal this activity. He regarded himself as a disciple of Perez *Smolenskin, about whom he wrote a long article. He was a member of the *Benei Moshe, and participated incognito at the First Zionist Congress in 1897 as the delegate of the St. Petersburg Ḥovevei Zion. Brandt regarded emigration as a way of solving the Jewish problem in Russia and persuaded the Jewish Colonization Association to renew its aid to Jewish emigrants. Toward the end of his life, he collected material for a comprehensive study of the economic development and settlement in Ereẓ Israel. He wrote (in Russian, Yiddish, German, and Hebrew) books on foreign capital in Russia, the fight against alcoholism, contemporary woman in Western Europe and Russia, and articles on Zionism and Jewish history for Russkiy yevrey, Razsvet, etc.


A.L. Jaffe (ed.), Sefer ha-Congress (19502), 366; N. Sokolow, in: Die Welt, 20 (1907), 17.

[Yehuda Slutsky]