Salomon, Joel Moses

views updated


SALOMON, JOEL MOSES (1838–1912), Ereẓ Israel pioneer and founder of Petah Tikvah. Born in Jerusalem, Salomon was a descendant of a pupil of *Elijah the Vilna Gaon and settled in Ereẓ Israel in 1808. His grandfather, Solomon Zalman *Ẓoref, and his father, R. Mordecai Salomon, were leaders of the early Ashkenazi community in Jerusalem. Salomon was educated at yeshivot in Jerusalem and Lithuania. He studied printing at Koenigsberg, East Prussia, and, on his return to Jerusalem, he and several partners established a printing press. In March 1863, they printed the first issues of the first Ereẓ Israel periodical, *Ha-Levanon (spelled by them Halbanon), edited by Jehiel *Brill, to which Salomon contributed.

Salomon was active in the Ashkenazi community and strove to obtain for it a status equal to that of the Sephardi community and to make peace between its factions. He joined a group of young community leaders who wished to extend the scope of Jewish settlement in Jerusalem and even engage in agricultural work. Salomon was one of the founders of Jerusalem's Naḥalat Shivah quarter (1869), one of the first to be built outside the walls of the Old City, and participated in the establishment of Me'ah She'arim and other quarters. He took active part in the Yishuv Ereẓ Israel Association, which endeavored to purchase agricultural land for settlement. In 1877–78 he published the paper Yehudah vi-Yrushalayim ("Judea and Jerusalem"), in which he advocated plans for agricultural settlement and called for "action and deed." In the autumn of 1878 he was among the founders of Petaḥ Tikvah; after the first settlers were severely affected by malaria, he helped establish the nearby settlement of Yahud and to attract to it scholars, in order to establish a yeshivah there. After living there for seven years, he returned to Jerusalem and took up his public work for the institutions of the old yishuv.


A. Yaari, Goodly Heritage (1958), index; M. Salomon, Sheloshah Dorot ba-Yishuv (19602); Sefer ha-Yovel le-Petaḥh Tikvah (1929), 81–96; Y. Trivaks and E. Steinman, Sefer Me'ah Shanah (1938), 151–62; M. Smilansky, Mishpaḥat ha-Adamah, 1 (1954), 58–62; G. Kressel (ed.), Yehudah vi-Yrushalayim (1955), 13–39; B. Gat, Ha-Yishuv ha-Yehudi be-Ereẓ-Yisrael 1840–1881 (1963), index.

[Yehuda Slutsky]