Meerovitch, Menaché

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MEEROVITCH, MENACHÉ (1860–1949), member of *Bilu and one of the key figures in Jewish settlement in Ereẓ Israel. Born in Nikolayev, south Russia, Meerovitch graduated from a government institute as an agronomist. After the 1881 pogroms in south Russia, he participated in the establishment of the first *Ḥibbat Zion association in Warsaw and joined the Bilu society. At the end of 1882 he went to Constantinople and took part in the activities of Bilu's political bureau, which was trying to obtain Turkish consent to Jewish agricultural settlement in Ereẓ Israel. He then joined his comrades at *Rishon le-Zion and was active in the settlement's public life.

Meerovitch, who used the pen name Mi-Ziknei ha-Yishuv, wrote letters and articles on life in Ereẓ Israel that were published in the Russian Jewish press, the Yiddish- and German-language Zionist press, and Hebrew papers. He was one of the first to discuss practical agricultural problems and, in 1893/94, edited the first agricultural paper in the country, Ha-Ikkar ("The Farmer"). In his Russian book Opisaniye Yevreyskikh Koloniy v Palestine ("A Description of the Jewish Settlements in Palestine," 1900), he summarized the achievements of Ereẓ Israel agriculture in its first 25 years.

Meerovitch was active in the work of the Ḥibbat Zion association in Jaffa and headed it from 1903 to 1904. He was among the founders of Aguddat ha-Koremim (Vintners Association) in 1903 and of the Judean Settlement Association in 1913. During World War i he participated in the Jewish community's representative body to the Turkish authorities. From 1918 to 1920 Meerovitch was a member of the Va'ad Le'ummi. His articles and memoirs are of great importance to the historian of Jewish settlement in Ereẓ Israel. Some were collected in book form during his later years: Ḥevlei Teḥiyyah ("Pangs of Resurrection," 1930); Me-ha-Shevil el ha-Derekh ("From the Path to the Road," 1935, with an annotated list including an index of his articles); Minḥat Erev ("Evening Rest," 1940); Mi-Bilu ad va-Ya'apilu ("From Bilu to Immigration," 1947). The moshav Talmei Menasheh in the Coastal Plain is named after him.


M. Smilansky, Mishpaḥat ha-Adamah, 3 (1954), 141–50; Tidhar, 2 (1947), 823–5; D. Idelovitch (ed.), Sefer Rishon le-Ẓiyyon (1941), 89–92.

[Yehuda Slutsky]