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Greenberg, Leopold Jacob


GREENBERG, LEOPOLD JACOB (1861–1931), editor of the Jewish Chronicle and one of the first Zionists in Britain. Born in Birmingham, Greenberg was at first active in the non-Jewish press as a publisher and owner of a news agency. He became involved in Jewish affairs and began to attract notice as one of *Herzl's first adherents in Britain. He promoted Herzl's ideas before the general and Jewish public, and it was he who arranged for Herzl to appear before the Royal Commission on Alien Immigration in London in 1902 (through his close ties with Joseph *Chamberlain, secretary for the colonies, who also came from Birmingham). Herzl entrusted him with various political missions in England, such as those connected with the *El-Arish project and the *Uganda Scheme, and eventually Greenberg served as Herzl's official representative vis-àvis the British government. Although he had supported the Uganda project, Greenberg did not join the *Territorialists. He became a leader of the British Zionist Federation and held various offices in the organization.

In 1907 he and his friends acquired the Jewish Chronicle in order to make it a Zionist organ and he was appointed editor in chief. He was a staunch fighter for Jewish rights and a particularly severe critic of the Czarist regime's attitude toward the Jews. Upon his appointment as editor, he gave up his official activities in the Zionist movement. Throughout the years, however, he persisted in his efforts to gain the support of various British circles for Zionism. After World War i, he opposed the official policy of the Zionist Organization, but his was a "loyal opposition." He was among the founders of The Jewish Year Book (1896– ); Young Israel, a periodical for youth (1897); and other publications. Herzl described him as "the most able of all my helpers." In accordance with his last will, his ashes were taken to Deganyah and interred there (1932).

His son, ivan marion (1896–1966), joined the editorial board of the Jewish Chronicle in 1925 and served as its editor in chief from 1936 to 1946. During this period, he attacked the British government for its anti-Zionist policy in Palestine. He translated M. *Begin's book Revolt into English (1951). He was a leader of the *Revisionist Party in Britain.


C. Roth, in: The Jewish Chronicle 18411941 (1949), 124–40 and index; Rabinowitz, in: I. Cohen (ed.), Rebirth of Israel (1952), 77–97; T. Herzl, Complete Diaries, 5 (1960), index; L. Stein, Balfour Declaration (1961), index. add. bibliography: odnb online; D. Cesarani, The Jewish Chronicle and Anglo-Jewry, 18411991 (1994), index.

[Getzel Kressel]

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