Naiditsch, Isaac Asher

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NAIDITSCH, ISAAC ASHER

NAIDITSCH, ISAAC ASHER (1868–1949), philanthropist and Zionist. Born in Pinsk, Naiditsch joined the Ḥibbat Zion movement in his youth. Later, he settled in Moscow and became one of Russia's greatest alcohol industrialists. He was sent by the Russian government on commercial missions several times. He carried on his Zionist work, wrote about literary subjects in Hebrew periodicals, and generously supported Hebrew writers. At the beginning of World War i he was one of the founders and directors of the Central Committee for the Relief of Jewish War Sufferers (yekopo). After the Russian Revolution (1917), he donated large sums of money for the purpose of promoting Hebrew culture. When the Soviet regime became established, he emigrated to France. Together with Hillel *Zlatopolsky, he suggested the idea of the *Keren Hayesod and was one of its first directors. When the Nazis occupied France, he fled to the United States, but returned to Paris in 1946. He was a close friend and adviser of Chaim *Weizmann from their youth.

Naiditsch wrote articles on Zionism and current events. Some of them were in the book Ba-Ḥalom u-va-Ma'aseh ("In Dream and in Practice," 1956), which also contains a collection of appreciations of his personality. He also wrote a book entitled Edmond de Rothschild (1945), based upon his conversations with the baron.

bibliography:

I. Gruenbaum, Penei ha-Dor (1958), 333–5.

[Yehuda Slutsky]

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