SAPIR, JOSEPH (1869–1935), Zionist leader. Born in *Kishinev, Sapir qualified as a doctor. A member of Ḥovevei Zion from his youth, he was one of the most prominent Zionists in Odessa, and he established a publishing house, Di Kopeke Bibliotek, which published Zionist literature in Yiddish and Russian. In 1903 he wrote a book for the general reader on the essence and history of Zionism, which was published in Russian and Hebrew and was an authoritative source for Zionist education. He edited a Russian-language Zionist weekly called Kadimah ("Forward," later Yevreyskai Mysl', 1907). After the 1917 Bolshevik revolution, Sapir was elected chairman of the South Russia Zionist Organization and was one of the leaders of the committee that aided victims of pogroms. He left Russia soon thereafter, spending several years in Bessarabia, and reached Palestine in 1925. Sapir was director of a department of the Bikkur Ḥolim hospital in Jerusalem. He also engaged in painting and sculpture and published a book of articles and memoirs, Ḥalutzei ha-Teḥiyyah (1930).
Tidhar, 3 (19582), 1239–40; A. Raphaeli, Pa'amei Ge'ullah (1952), index.