Meyuḥas, Yosef Baran

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MEYUḤAS, YOSEF BARAN (ben Rahamim Nathan ; 1868–1942), leader of the Sephardi community in Ereẓ Israel, writer, and educator. Born in *Jerusalem, from 1884 Meyuḥas taught in various schools, including the Evelina de Rothschild School, and was headmaster of the Ezra Teachers Seminary and the municipal school for boys. In 1888 he was one of the founders of the lodge of "Jerusalem" *B'nai B'rith – the first in Ereẓ Israel – and a founder of the Sha'arei Ẓedek quarter of Jerusalem. Meyuḥas was also a leader of the Ḥibbat ha-Areẓ Society, which founded *Moẓa, near Jerusalem. One of the first Ereẓ Israel Sephardim to take an Ashkenazi wife, he married Margalit, the daughter of Y.M. *Pines. His was among the first families to follow Eliezer *Ben-Yehuda's example of speaking Hebrew. Meyuḥas was among the founders of the Ginzei Yosef u-Midrash Abrabanel Library, which formed the nucleus of the *Jewish National and University Library. From 1920 to 1931 he was president of the city council of Jews in Jerusalem. From his youth, he contributed to the Hebrew and Ladino press on matters of culture, education, and literature and became a specialist on Sephardi folklore, Oriental communities, the Arabs of Palestine, and the history of the Jews of the Orient and of the yishuv. He published a number of works and some have remained in manuscript.

[Abraham Aharoni]