Gross, Nathan

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GROSS, NATHAN (1874–1922), a founder of *Po'alei Zion and general secretary of the *Jewish National Fund Head Office. Born in Tarnopol, Galicia, Gross moved to Vienna in his youth and worked as a clerk. At first he joined the Social Democrats, but when he became aware of the hostile attitude to Jews shown by the party's leaders (particularly those who were themselves Jews), he left the party. With the publication of Herzl's ideas of a Jewish state, Gross became a Zionist. He was among the organizers of the clerical union in Austria and in this manner contributed to the establishment of a Zionist labor movement. The first cells that he established in various places gradually coalesced into the Po'alei Zion movement, of which he and S. *Kaplansky became the chief spokesmen at Zionist Congresses and in the Zionist Movement. (As a consequence of new activities, *Merhavyah was founded, thereby realizing Franz *Oppenheimer's plan for the establishment of agricultural cooperatives in Ereẓ Israel.) In 1908 Gross was appointed general secretary of the head office of the Jewish National Fund situated first in Cologne and, in 1914, moving to The Hague. He retained this post until his death.


N. Agmon (Bistritsky, ed.), Demuyyot, 2 (1951), 277–9; M. Singer, Be-Reshit ha-Ẓiyyonut ha-Soẓyalistit (1958), 444. add. bibliography: N.M. Gelber, Toledot ha-Tenu'ah ha-Ẓiyyonit be-Galicia 18751918 (1958), index.

[Getzel Kressel]