Lavi (Loewenstein), Theodor

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LAVI (Loewenstein), THEODOR

LAVI (Loewenstein ), THEODOR (1905–1983), Romanian historian, educator, publicist, Zionist leader. Born in Turnu-Severin, he received his Ph.D. from the University of Bucharest with a thesis influenced by Sigmund Freud. He became a high-school teacher and principal and later (1942–44) taught pedagogics at a Jewish seminary. He was active in the Zionist movement from 1920. In 1923–33 he edited the publication Hasmonea, published by the Association of Zionist Students of Romania. In 1941 he became a member of the Zionist Executive and director of its cultural-educational section. In 1942 he became director of the Department of Schools, Culture, and Physical Education of the Jews' Central, his efforts directed toward the foundation of Jewish schools of all levels. In 1945 he was a leader of the Zionist Socialist Organization "Ichud," once again director of the cultural-educational section of the Zionist Executive of Romania, and founded its publishing house Bicurim. After the banning of Zionist activity in Romania Loewenstein was imprisoned in 1950 because of his Zionist activities. He was released five years later and went to Israel, where he continued his historical research at *Yad Vashem, and specialized in the history of Romanian Jewry during the Holocaust (Yahadut Romanyah be-Ma'avak al Haẓẓalatah, 1965). He wrote on history and education in a number of journals, Jewish as well as non-Jewish. His books include S. Freud şi psihoanaliza ("S. Freud and Psychoanalysis," 1935); Istoria sionismului ("The History of Zionism," 1934, 19452); Trumpeldor – letters, with an introductory biography; Herzl (1945); and Nu a fost pisica neagra (memoirs, 1979). He was the Encyclopaedia Judaica (first edition) departmental editor on the history of Jews in Romania, editor of Pinkas ha-Kehillot Romanyah (1969–80), and of the bilingual Romanian-Hebrew historical review Toladot (1972–77). In 1971 he founded the Niemirower Institute, which later became the Center for Research of Romanian Jewry at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.


T. Lavi, Nu a fost pisica neagră (1979); E. Fleischer, "Dr. Theodor Lavi z.l.," in: Yediyon ha-Iggud le-Madda'ei ha-Yahadut, 23 (1984), 53–54.

[Abraham Feller /

Lucian-Zeev Herșcovici (2nd ed.)]

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Lavi (Loewenstein), Theodor

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