Szold, Robert

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SZOLD, ROBERT (1889–1977), U.S. lawyer and Zionist. Szold, who was born in Streator, Illinois, graduated from Knox College in Illinois (1909). He served as assistant attorney general in Puerto Rico (1915) and assistant to U.S. Solicitor General John W. Davis (1915–18) before returning to private practice. A Zionist from youth, Szold along with Harry *Friedenwald went to Palestine as members of the Zionist commission in 1919. In 1920 he went to London as a member of the Reorganization Commission together with Julius Simon and Nehemia de Lieme. Szold aligned himself with the Brandeis-Mack forces, which were nevertheless ousted by the Weizmann supporters from the Zionist Organization of America administration (1921). In 1930 the zoa formally recalled the Brandeis-Mack leadership, and Szold served as chairman of the administration until 1932. In 1942 he became treasurer and chairman of the budget committee of the American Emergency Committee for Zionist Affairs. He was among those who opposed the 1937 proposal of partitioning Palestine between Jews and Arabs. Yet at the 22nd World Zionist Congress in 1946, Szold supported Weizmann in his desire to negotiate with the British instead of the more militant position of Abba Hillel Silver, which prevailed. Szold was a member of numerous organizations devoted to the economic development of Palestine, including the Palestine Endowment Funds, Inc. (est. 1922) and the Palestine Economic Corporation (est. 1926). He served for many years as a senior partner in the New York law firm of Szold and Brandwen. The Robert Szold Institute for Applied Science was established at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Szold was the third cousin of Henrietta *Szold, the founder of Hadassah. He wrote 77 Great Russell Street: Recollections of Robert Szold (1967).

[Simcha Berkowitz /

Ruth Beloff (2nd ed.)]