Kirschbraun, Elijah

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KIRSCHBRAUN, ELIJAH (1882–1931), leader of *Agudat Israel in Poland. Kirschbraun, who was born in Warsaw into a religious family and was a notable scholar, formed an independent religious organization in Warsaw in 1911, and in 1912 took part in the founding convention of Agudat Israel in Katowice. After World War i, when the Jewish communities were constituted in independent Poland, he was elected chairman of the Jewish community council in Warsaw and representative of religious Jewry on the Warsaw municipal council. Between 1922 and 1931 Kirschbraun was member of the Polish parliament (Sejm) and member of its security committee. He was chairman of the Agudat Israel faction in parliament, and vice president of the "Jewish club" ("Koło") in 1926. His personal integrity and efforts for the benefit of the public won appreciation among all sectors of Jewry and Polish government circles. In the 1922 elections he recommended that his party join the *minority bloc led by Y. *Gruenbaum, but after Pilsudski's coup (May 1926) he abandoned Gruenbaum's policy and supported the Sanacja regime. His last act, on his deathbed, was to send a letter to Pilsudski, which both the Jewish public and Polish leaders regarded as a testament, urging full and just rights for the Jews in independent Poland.

add. bibliography:

J. Majchrowski et al. (eds.), Kto byl kim w drugiej Rzeczypospolitej (1994), 316.

[Yitzchak Arad]

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Kirschbraun, Elijah

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