Solieli (Soloveichik), Mordecai

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SOLIELI (Soloveichik), MORDECAI (Max ; 1883–1957), public figure and biblical scholar. Born in Kovno, Lithuania, Solieli was one of the founders of the Russian-language Zionist newspaper, Yevreyskaya Zhizn (later *Razsvet), in 1904. During the Russian Revolution he left Russia for Lithuania. Solieli was elected to the Lithuanian Sejm (parliament) and served as minister for Jewish affairs (1919–21). In 1921 he was elected to the Zionist executive, but as a result of differences of opinion with Weizmann on the question of establishing a Jewish Agency and because of other problems, he resigned in 1922/23. Solieli (along with Yiẓḥak *Gruenbaum, Nahum *Goldmann, and others) was a leader of the "radical faction." From 1923 to 1933 he contributed to the (German) Encyclopaedia Judaica in Berlin and edited its Bible and Ancient Near-East section. In 1933 he emigrated to Palestine, where he settled in Haifa and was active in public life there. From 1944 to 1948 he served as the head of the department of education for the yishuv. When the State of Israel was established he was made director of its broadcasting service Kol Israel and later became chairman of the public council attached to the broadcasting service. His works include Toledot Bikkoret ha-Mikra (with Zalman Rubashov-Shazar, 1925); Sekhiyyot ha-Mikra (illustrations and documents in biblical research, 1925); and Lexicon Biblicum (Hebrew; posthumous, edited by M. Borochov, 1965).


Y. Gruenbaum, Penei ha-Dor (1957), 306–11.

[Yehuda Slutsky]