Meshel, Yeruham

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MESHEL, YERUHAM (1912–2002), Israeli trade union leader, member of the Ninth and Tenth Knessets. Meshel was born in Pinsk in Belorussia. He went to a reformed ḥeder, and later studied at the Tarbut Hebrew gymnasium in Pinsk. As a youth he joined the Ha-Shomer ha-Ẓa'ir movement. He settled in Palestine in 1933, and worked as an agricultural laborer, and in construction. During World War ii Meshel was the representative of the Histadrut in British army camps. In 1943–47 he was head of the Metal Workers Union, in 1947–61 head of the Factory Workers Department of the Histadrut, and in 1961–69 head of the Histadrut's Trade Union Department. In 1969 Meshel was elected deputy secretary general of the Histadrut responsible for Social Security, and in 1973 was elected secretary general, succeeding Yitzhak *Ben-Aharon. He remained in this position until 1984. He became head of the Institute for the Study of the Labor Movement named after Pinhas *Lavon in 1987. He wrote Sheliḥut ve-Derekh (1980).

[Susan Hattis Rolef (2nd ed.)]