Dubnow, Ze'ev

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DUBNOW, ZE'EV (1858–1940?), *Bilu member. Dubnow, who was born in Mstislavl, Belorussia, was the elder brother of Simon *Dubnow, the historian. He tended to assimilation in his youth and became interested in the Russian radical movement. After the 1881 pogroms he joined Bilu and went to Ereẓ Israel with its first group in 1882. After working at *Mikveh Israel, Dubnow moved with several friends to Jerusalem, where he was one of the founders of Shaḥu (Hebrew initials for the words "return of the craftsmen and the smiths"), an artisans' association. In his letters to his brother he expressed the ultimate aim of the Bilu movement: "to acquire Ereẓ Israel and return to the Jews their political independence." In 1885 he returned to Mstislavl, "disappointed in the hopes of quick success in settling Ereẓ Israel," but still "a fervent nationalist in his belief." He became a teacher, and assisted his brother in examining historical documents. Dubnow remained in contact with the Biluim in Ereẓ Israel and corresponded with them. Eventually he settled in Moscow, where he died.


A. Druyanov (ed.), Ketavim le-Toledot Ḥibbat Ẓiyyon, 3 (1932), index; A. Hurwitz, in: He-Avar, 8 (May 1961), 102–5; I. Klausner, Be-Hitorer Am (1962), index.

[Yehuda Slutsky]