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Ochberg, Isaac


OCHBERG, ISAAC (1879–1938), South African philanthropist and Zionist. Ochberg was born in the Ukraine and went to South Africa in 1894. A successful Cape Town businessman, he was best known for his humanitarian project in bringing some 200 Jewish pogrom orphans from the Ukraine and Poland to South Africa after World War i. In 1921 he traveled to Russia on his own initiative, personally selected the children and organized their transportation to South Africa, where they were cared for by the Jewish orphanages in Cape Town and Johannesburg and the South African Jewish War Victims Fund. He returned to Russia the following year and distributed food, clothing, and medicines to the starving people in the war-afflicted areas. Ochberg served on the Cape executive of the South African Jewish Board of Deputies and other communal bodies. Among his benefactions were bequests to the Isaac Ochberg Fund for bursaries and to the Hebrew University for extensions and scholarships. In Israel the kibbutz Galed was also called Even Yiẓḥak in his honor, and his estate was used to purchase the land of kibbutz Daliyyah, where a monument to him was erected.

[Louis Hotz]

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