Idelovitch, David

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IDELOVITCH, DAVID (1863–1953), pioneer of settlement and education in modern Ereẓ Israel. Born in Jassy, Romania, Idelovitch went to Ereẓ Israel in 1882 and settled in Jerusalem, where he joined the *Bilu pioneers, who had established the society Shivat he-Ḥarash ve-ha-Masger ("Return of the Craftsmen and the Smiths"). In 1886 he went to France for further study in metal work and engraving. Upon his return, he taught in the Rishon le-Zion school, where he was teacher and headmaster from 1887 to 1900 and, despite opposition from Baron Edmond de *Rothschild's officials, taught all subjects – including mathematics and nature study – in Hebrew. He helped to found the first kindergarten in Palestine in 1898 and was one of the organizers of teachers' meetings in the settlements of the region. He was also an editor of the children's newspaper Olam Katan (1893). Idelovitch contributed to Eliezer *Ben-Yehuda's newspapers and wrote reports on events in Ereẓ Israel for Hebrew papers abroad. A founder of the Carmel Wine-Growers' Cooperative, the marketing company for the wine produced in the Jewish settlements, he was sent to represent the company in Alexandria from 1906 to 1924. During World War i he assisted Jewish refugees deported from Ereẓ Israel to Egypt and found various ways of getting financial aid into Ereẓ Israel. Upon his return to Palestine, he settled in Rishon le-Zion.

Among Idelovitch's works are a small book entitled Sefer ha-Misḥar va-Ḥaroshet ha-Ma'aseh be-Ereẓ Yisrael ("Commerce and Industry in Ereẓ Israel," 1890), and a collection of articles on the history of journalism in Ereẓ Israel entitled Koveẓ Ma'amarim le-Divrei Yemei ha-Ittonut be-Ereẓ Yisrael (1935) which he edited. After World War i he published his memoirs about the refugees from Ereẓ Israel in Egypt in Mi-Yamim Rishonim, a journal edited by E. Druyanow (in vol. 1 (1934), nos. 7–12, vol. 2 (1935), no. 1). The commemorative volume Sefer Rishon le-Ẓiyyon (1941) was also edited by Idelovitch.


M. Smilansky, Misḥpahat ha-Adamah, 3 (1954), 154–6; D. Smilansky, in: Benei Arẓi ve-Iri (1958), 142–6.

[Yehuda Slutsky]