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Weitz, Naphtali

WEITZ, NAPHTALI

WEITZ, NAPHTALI (1866–1935), physician and yishuv leader. Born in Odessa, Weitz was active in the *Ḥovevei Zion movement from 1884. He studied medicine at Kharkov University, where he became a member of a Jewish national student association in 1885. From 1888 Weitz studied at the Sorbonne in Paris. He attended an international conference of Ḥovevei Zion in Paris in 1894 and was elected to the movement's central committee. In 1898, at the request of Baron Edmond de *Rothschild, he and his wife, Hannah, who was also a physician, went to Ereẓ Israel, where Weitz was employed as a physician in the settlements of Upper Galilee and in *Zikhron Ya'akov, and they worked hard to eradicate malaria. In 1907 he moved to Jerusalem, where he practiced medicine in various medical institutions. He was a founder of the Jerusalem Hebrew Gymnasium (high school) and the Bet ha-Am cultural center. As a Russian national, he was deported to Egypt during World War i; there he served on the Refugee Aid Committee and helped found the Zion Mule Corps. When the British conquered Palestine, he was the first to receive a permit to return.

bibliography:

I. Klausner, Mi-Katoviẓ ad Basel, 2 (1965), index.

[Israel Klausner]

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