Ebner, Meir

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EBNER, MEIR (Meyer ; 1872–1955), Jewish leader in Bukovina and Romania, active Zionist. Born in Czernowitz, he participated in the establishment of the Jewish national student association, Hasmonea, in 1891. He earned the degree of jurist doctor from the university in his native city. With the advent of Herzl, Ebner joined the Zionist Organization, attending the First Zionist Congress and many succeeding ones. He was active in Jewish affairs in Bukovina, at the same time working to obtain Jewish representation in the local Landtag and at the Reichsrat in Vienna. He was exiled to Siberia by the Russian conquerors in 1915 and returned in 1917. In 1918–20 he was head of the Jewish National Council of Bukovina. When Bukovina was annexed to Romania in 1918, he led the struggle for Jewish rights and in 1919 founded the German language periodical Ostjuedische Zeitung in which he advocated Zionism and a Jewish national policy in the Diaspora. It was published until the end of 1937, when it was banned by the government. Ebner attended the international Congresses of National Minorities in Geneva, becoming vice president of the organization after the death of Leo *Motzkin in 1933. In May 1926 (until July 1927) he was head of the Czernowitz Jewish community and was elected to the Romanian parliament, where he frequently spoke with great courage, undeterred by threats from antisemites. In 1928 Ebner was elected to the Romanian Senate and became head of the Jewish faction of four members. He helped found the Jewish Party of Romania in 1930 and was elected on its behalf to the Romanian parliament. In 1934 his election was prevented through the machinations of the government. Ebner immigrated to Palestine in the beginning of 1940, where he became a regular contributor to Zionist publications in Palestine and abroad and was active in associations of immigrants from Romania and Bukovina. He died in Israel.


M. Kleinman (ed.); Enziklopedyah le-Ẓiyyonut, 1 (1947), 3f.; M Reifer, Dr. M. Ebner (1947); J. Gruenbuam, Peneiha-Dor, 2 (1961), 176–80; S. Bickel, Yahadut Romanyah (1978), 326–31; Parlamentari evrei (1998); D. Schaari, in: sahir, 4 (1999), 148–77; Z. Yavetz, in: English Historical Review (1998).

[Yehuda Slutsky]