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FEINBERG , family of pioneer settlers in Ereẓ Israel.

yosef feinberg (1855–1902) was born in Simferopol in the Crimea, the son of wealthy parents, and studied chemistry at Swiss and German universities. Aroused by the 1881 pogroms, he went to Ereẓ Israel in the spring of 1882, taking a large sum of money. He joined Zalman *Levontin in founding *Rishon le-Zion on land which he helped to buy. Feinberg went to Western Europe and succeeded in gaining Baron Edmond de *Rothschild's support for the idea of Jewish settlement in Erez Israel. However, Feinberg opposed the Baron's paternalistic system of management, and after a dispute in 1887 with the Baron's representative, Yehoshua *Ossowetzky, he was forced to sell his property and leave the settlement, together with other founding members. He bought an oil press in Lydda, but was forced to sell it because of financial straits. He then opened a pharmacy in Jaffa. He was among those who received Theodor *Herzl in Ereẓ Israel in 1898.

israel ("Lotik"; 1865–1911) younger brother of Yosef, was born in Sebastopol, Crimea. In the early 1880s Israel settled in Rishon le-Zion, where he married Fania Belkind, a member of *Bilu. Leaving Rishon le-Zion with his brother, Feinberg settled in Gederah, where he was one of the settle-ment's first watchmen (1891) and organized the planting of eucalyptus groves to drain the swamps. In 1898 he moved with his family to *Ḥaderah, but, contracting malaria, was forced to move to Jerusalem. The family returned to Ḥaderah a few years later, and Feinberg tried to reestablish his farm there but died as a result of the debilitating effects of malaria and hard labor.

avshalom (1889–1917) cofounder of *Nili, son of Israel. He was born in Gederah and as a young man he studied in France. Upon his return he worked at the agricultural station set up by Aharon *Aaronsohn at Athlit. A few months after the outbreak of World War i, he and Aaronsohn founded the anti-Turkish intelligence network, Nili. In 1915 Feinberg reached Egypt on an American ship, establishing contact with British naval intelligence, who returned him to Athlit. When Aaronsohn went to England to negotiate with the government, Feinberg, Sarah *Aaronsohn, and Joseph *Lishansky continued to develop the intelligence ring, impatiently awaiting the results of Aaronsohn's mission. In 1917 Feinberg again set out for Egypt, this time on foot, along with Lishansky, but was shot and killed by Bedouin near the British front in Sinai. In 1967, after the Six-Day War, Feinberg's remains were discovered near Rafa under a palm tree which had sprung from date seeds he carried with him on his journey. He was reburied on Mount Herzl in Jerusalem and given a state funeral. Feinberg was one of the romantic figures of his time. His letters and memoirs, preserved in the Nili archives at *Zikhron Ya'akov, offer an insight into the world of the first generation born in the new Jewish settlements. His letters and memoirs were published under the title Avshalom (1971) by A. Amir.


A. Yaari, Goodly Heritage (1958), index; A. Engle, Nili Spies (1959), index; D. Idelevitch (ed.), Rishon le-Ziyyon (1941), 41–47,507; M. Smilansky, Mishpahat ha-Adamah, 1 (19542), 159–62; 2 (1954), 72–77; Dinur, Haganah, 1 pt. 1 (1954), 80f., 279, 354–62; 1, pt. 2 (1956), 730–3; J. Yaari-Poleskin, Ḥolemim ve-Loḥamim (19643), 103–9; E. Livneh (ed.), Nili: Toledoteha shel He'azah Medinit (1961).

[Yehuda Slutsky]