Gesang, Nathan-Nachman

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GESANG, NATHAN-NACHMAN (1886–1944), one of the leaders and president of the Zionist Organization and of the Keren Hayesod of Argentina. Born in Cracow, Gesang went to Berlin to study and became active in the Zionist movement. When he moved to Britain (in 1909) he became secretary of the British Zionist Organization. In 1910 he settled in Argentina and after a short while became the first hired secretary of the local "Zionist Party." He was one of the leaders of Argentine Jewry and served as president of the Zionist Federation (General Zionists) in 1922–23, 1930–31, and 1941–1944. Gesang was active in the propagation of Zionism from the very beginning of its work, with his speeches and organizational work in Buenos Aires as well as in the province communities, in cities, and in agricultural settlements. He represented the Argentine Zionist Federation at some Zionist Congresses. In 1937 he supported a kind of cooperation with Jabotinsky and the Revisionists who had seceded from the World Zionist Organization and were organized in Ha-Zohar. In the 1930s Gesang promoted the establishment of a representation of the Jewish Agency in Argentina. He participated in the promotion of Hebrew language and culture and published articles in Hebrew, Yiddish, and Spanish on Zionist affairs and Jewish studies. Among his published books are Der Hoveve Tzionism un der Politisher Tzionizm ("Hovevei Zion Movement and Political Zionism," Yid. and Sp., 1937) and a new edition of the Kuzari by Judah Halevi, with a detailed introduction (1943).


S. Schenkolewski-Kroll, Ha-Tenu'ah ha-Zionit ve-ha-Miflagot ha-Ziyyoniyyot be-Argentina1935–1948 (1996).

[Getzel Kressel /

Efraim Zadoff (2nd ed.)]