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Lewin-Epstein, Eliahu Ze'ev

LEWIN-EPSTEIN, ELIAHU ZE'EV

LEWIN-EPSTEIN, ELIAHU ZE'EV (1863–1932), Ereẓ Israel leader. Born in Vilkaviskis (Russian Lithuania), the son of a prosperous bookseller, Lewin-Epstein joined Ḥovevei Ẓion after the 1881 Warsaw pogrom and was one of the founders of the Warsaw *Benei Moshe. Together with Z. *Gluskin, he established the Menuḥah ve-Naḥalah society whose aim was to establish an agricultural settlement in Ereẓ Israel financed by the settlers themselves that would serve as a model in its efficiency and leadership. He was sent by the society to deal with the purchase of land and the establishment of the settlement, called *Reḥovot (1890), and during its early years he was its spiritual leader and head of the settlement committee. One of the founders of the Carmel Society for the marketing of the wine produced in the Ereẓ Israel settlements he visited the U.S. on its behalf and there served as a director of the *United HIAS Service and treasurer of both the Federation of American Zionists and the Provisional Zionist Committee which organized the relief work for the yishuv in Palestine in World War i. Lewin-Epstein then settled permanently in Palestine, where he served as a member of the Zionist Commission in 1919. He frequently traveled to the U.S., England, and Germany to promote Palestine Jewish interests. His memoirs, Zikhronotai, appeared in 1932.

bibliography:

D. Idelovitch (ed.), Rishon le-Ẓiyyon (Heb., 1941), 304–8; M. Smilansky, Reḥovot (Heb., 1950); Tidhar, 1 (1947), 78; S.S. Wise, Challenging Years (1949), index.

[Yehuda Slutsky]

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