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Brodski

BRODSKI

BRODSKI , family of industrialists and philanthropists in Russia, whose members played an important role in the Russian economy and Jewish communal life from the middle of the 19th century. It was founded by Meir Schor, a member of the Schor family of distinguished rabbis and communal leaders, who moved from Brody in Galicia to Zlatopol in the province of Kiev in the early 19th century and took the name of Brodski (i.e., "from Brody"). Of his five sons, all wealthy businessmen, the most prominent, israel (1823–1888), took a leading part in the development of the sugar industry in the Ukraine. During the 1840s, he financed the establishment of several sugar refineries by Russian estate owners in conjunction with other investors. Subsequently, he began to manage them himself and leased or founded additional plants. Brodski introduced many improvements in production methods and an elaborate administration for marketing the sugar within Russia and for export. In 1876 he moved to Kiev, where he became one of the leaders of the community. He built the Jewish hospital and other welfare institutions there. He also helped the *Volozhin yeshivah to establish a kolel for young scholars.

His sons eliezer (Lazar; 1848–1904) and arieh leibush (Lev; 1852–1923) enlarged their father's enterprises. In the early 1890s the plants owned by Brodski produced approximately one-quarter of the total amount of sugar refined in Russia. The brothers continued to contribute generously to Jewish and Russian cultural and welfare institutions, and among other benefactions founded the polytechnical and bacteriological institutes in Kiev, donated 300,000 rubles for the establishment of a Jewish school with a department for vocational training, built the great synagogue in Kiev, and gave substantial assistance to victims of the pogroms. The efforts of the Zionist Organization of Russia to persuade Lev Brodski to redeem the area around the Western Wall in Jerusalem were unsuccessful. The Brodski firms employed thousands of Jewish office workers and agents. The Hebrew writers, J.L. *Levin (Yehalal) and Eleazar *Schulmann, were among their employees. After the 1917 Revolution their property was confiscated and Lev Brodski left with his family for Western Europe. abraham (1816–1884), Israel's brother who settled in Odessa in 1858, contracted to collect the communal meat tax and donated the revenues to Jewish institutions. He also established two Jewish agricultural colonies. Both he and his son samuel (1837–1897) served as municipal councillors in Odessa.

bibliography:

E.E. Friedman, Sefer ha-Zikhronot (1926), 213–4, 221–3, 335–8; H. Landau, in: yivo Shriften far Ekonomik un Statistik, 1 (1928), 98–104; B. Weinryb, Neueste Wirtschaftsgeschichte der Juden in Russland und Polen, 1 (1934), 87, 212.

[Yehuda Slutsky]

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