Jerusalem (Jan. 3)
Leaders of all sections of Palestine Jewry and representatives of the Palestine Government were among the scores of notables who attended the funeral today of Dr. Arthur Ruppin, outstanding authority on Jewish colonization in Palestine and an eminent Jewish scholar, who died Friday evening.
Chief Rabbis Herzog and Usiel; David Ben Gurion, who narrowly escaped death yesterday in an automobile accident; Miss Henrietta Szold and representatives of the Jewish Agency, the Jewish National Council and the Palestine Government headed the funeral procession to the Yeshurun synagogue here. Dr. Ruppin’s son, Raphael, in the uniform of the British Army, recited Kaddish for his father. Following the services, the body was taken for burial to the colony of Dagania, one of the oldest Jewish settlements in Palestine of which Dr. Ruppin was one of the founders. Scores of automobiles followed the hearse to Dagania and thousands of Jewish settlers lined the route.
An expert in land settlement, Dr. Ruppin, who was 67 years old, was planning to go to London soon to confer with the World Zionist Executive on plans for post-war Jewish colonization in Palestine. He was a member of the executive of the Jewish Agency, at different periods and was a lecturer at the Hebrew University since 1927.
Dr. Ruppin was born in Rawitsch, a small town in Posen, Germany. For a time he practiced law in Magdeburg but later moved to Berlin, where he was appointed Director of the Society for Jewish Statistics in the establishment of which he took a prominent part. He also edited the “Zeitschrift four Demography and Statistik der Juden.” During that time Dr. Ruppin laid the foundations of a new branch of science, the sociology of the Jews. Following the publications of his remarkable monograph, “The Jews of the Present Time,” which showed his Zionist views, he come into contact with the Zionist leaders and was asked by David Holffson, then president of the World Zionist Organization, to take over the direction of the Palestine Office of the Zionist Organization at Jaffa.
Dr. Ruppin came to Palestine in 1908 and since that time had devoted himself to colonization activities. Under his direction the first Kvutzoth (Labor communal settlements) at Dagania and Merhavia, as well as the farms at Huldah and Kinnereth, were established. He was also largely responsible for the foundation of several colonization institutions, including the Palestine Land Development Company, which has transferred hundreds of thousands of dunes to Jewish hands. He was also one of the sponsors of Tel Aviv, the first all-Jewish town in Palestine.
During World War I, Dr. Ruppin organized relief work for the Jewish Community in Palestine, which was cut off from the rest of the world. He carried on this work until 1916, when together with other Jewish leaders, he was expelled from the country by Jamal Pasha. While in exile in Constantinople, he wrote “Syrien als Wirtschaftsgebiet.” On returning to Palestine after the War, Dr. Ruppin cooperated with M. M. Ussishkin in the purchase of the Emek and the establishment of many Jewish settlements there. In 1921 he was elected a member of the Palestine Zionist Executive and, with one interval, has acted since then as the head of the Executive’s Colonization Department. His guiding principle has been to give preference to labor elements in colonization.