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Mossinson, Benzion

MOSSINSON, BENZION

MOSSINSON, BENZION (1878–1942), Hebrew educator and Zionist leader. He was born in Andreyevka, in southern Russia. In 1904 he joined the opposition, headed by Menahem *Ussishkin, to Herzl's *Uganda Scheme and was sent as an emissary to Ereẓ Israel to try to eradicate the leanings to the Uganda idea among certain circles in the yishuv. He taught at the Herzlia high school from 1907 and served as its principal from 1912 to 1941. A teacher of Bible, he introduced "Bible criticism" into Ereẓ Israel high schools. Exiled by the Turkish authorities during World War i, Mossinson went to the United States. He was a delegate to Zionist Congresses, being elected to the General Zionist Council and its presidium, and went on missions to various countries on behalf of the Zionist Movement. Mossinson was a founder of the "A faction" of the *General Zionists (which later evolved into the Progressive Party). He edited the General Zionist weekly, Ha-Ẓiyyoni ha-Kelali. In 1941 he became director of the Education Department of the Va'ad Leumi. In addition to articles in Russian and Hebrew periodicals, Mossinson published Ha-Ivrit be-Arẓenu (1917), and Ha-Nevi'im (1919, 19442). The Youth Aliyah agricultural school at Magdi'el is named after him.

bibliography:

Tidhar, 2 (1948), 645; D. Smilanski, Im Benei Arẓi ve-Iri (1958), 150–5.

[Abraham Aharoni]

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