Lipsky, Louis

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LIPSKY, LOUIS (1876–1963), U.S. Zionist leader, journalist, and author. Lipsky, who was born in Rochester, New York, and edited a weekly periodical Shofar there, was an active Zionist even before the opening of the First Zionist Congress (1897). In 1901 Lipsky founded The Maccabean (later The New Palestine) magazine in New York, the first English language Zionist periodical in the U.S. Under Lipsky's editorship, the magazine often exercised a powerful influence on Zionist actions in the U.S. Lipsky also edited The American Hebrew (1900–14). Lipsky served first as secretary, then chairman of the executive committee of the Federation of American Zionists, which was replaced by the Zionist Organization of America (zoa) in 1917. In the ensuing Brandeis Weizmann rift over the financial support and control of Jewish Palestine, Lipsky backed Weizmann. Lipsky was zoa president from 1922 to 1930, and then became president of the Eastern Life Insurance Company (1930–59).

Lipsky was a founder of the Keren Hayesod, the Jewish Agency, and the American and World Jewish congresses. In 1915 he had advocated the establishment of an American Jewish Congress, directly elected by American Jews, which would support the concept of a Jewish national home. In 1918 the first American Jewish Congress was elected. Lipsky subsequently served as its vice president and chairman of its governing council, and from 1934 to 1945 was deeply involved in the organization's attempts to call attention to the plight of European Jewry and to organize their rescue. A prolific author, Lipsky's three volume Selected Works consisting of Thirty Years of American Zionism, Stories of Jewish Life, and Shields of Honor, a selection of his plays and short stories, was published in 1927. He also wrote A Gallery of Zionist Profiles (1956) and Tales of the Yiddish Rialto (1962).

His son eleazar lipsky (1912–1993) was, for many years, head of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency in New York City. A second son, joel carmichael (1915– ), wrote widely on subjects concerning Jewish history, the Middle East, and Russia. Among his books are The Shaping of the Arabs (1967), A Short History of the Russian Revolution (1964), The Death of Jesus (1962), Birth of Christianity: Reality and Myth (1992), The Satanizing of the Jews (1992), Unriddling of Christian Origins (1995), and Russia: An Illustrated History (1999).


A. Friesel, Ha-Tenu'ah ha-Ẓiyyonit be-Arẓot ha-Berit ba-Shanim 18971914 (1970); M.W. Weisgal, Louis Lipsky (Eng. 1964); S. Halperin, The Political World of American Zionism (1960), index; S.S. Wise, Challenging Years (1949), passim, index. add. bibliography: D. Lipstadt, The Zionist Career of Louis Lipsky, 19001921 (1982).

[Moshe Gottlieb]

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Lipsky, Louis

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