Shenkar, Arie

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SHENKAR, ARIE

SHENKAR, ARIE (1877–1959), pioneer of Ereẓ Israel industry. Born in Spitzinitz, Kiev district, Shenkar moved to Moscow in 1898, worked in a textile factory, and was active in the Russian Zionist movement. He was a member of the board of a Zionist group called Kadimah and was sent on its behalf to Berlin to purchase land in Ereẓ Israel through the *Hilfsverein der deutschen Juden. His house was a center of Zionist activity in Moscow, even during the early Soviet period. Shenkar went to Palestine in 1924 and bought the Lodzia textile factory, making it into a profitable enterprise. He devoted his efforts to the young local industry and was for many years the president of the Manufacturers' Association of Palestine. He interested foreign investors in Ereẓ Israel industry, founded the Palestine Industrial Bank, Ltd., and was its president. Shenkar also participated in many economic enterprises and contributed to educational institutions.

His estate was used to construct the first buildings for the physics and chemistry departments at Tel Aviv University, dormitories at the Hebrew University, Jerusalem, and for a scholarship fund. His house in Tel Aviv has been turned into the history museum of the city. The industrial center Kiryat Aryeh, which covers an area in Petaḥ Tikvah and Bene-Berak, is named in his honor, as is a vocational school for textiles in Ramat Gan. After his death, Be-Emunah u-ve-Ma'as (1963) was published, including his biography, his speeches, and his articles, as well as appreciations of him.

bibliography:

D. Smilansky, Im Benei Arẓi ve-Iri (1958), 298–300; Tidhar, 2 (1947), 807–10; Hitaḥadut Ba'alei ha-Ta'asiyyah be-Yisrael, Arie Shenkar, Ḥazono u-Fo'olo (19592).

[Abraham Aharoni]