Menu JTA Search

Prof. Brodetsky, Leader of World Zionist Movement, Dies in London

Prof. Selig Brodetsky, world famed leader of the Zionist movement and longtime spokesman for British Jewry, died here this morning. He was 66.

Born in Olviopol, Ukraine, Mr. Brodetsky was brought to Britain by his family when he was five years old. Educated in the British schools, he attended Trinity College, Cambridge University, on a scholarship in mathematics, winning high honors in that subject throughout his college career. In those days he also became interested in the study of Hebrew and in Zionism.

He studied for his doctorate at Leipzig University, returning to England in 1914 to lecture in applied mathematics at Bristol University. During the first World War, he worked on important scientific war problems and in 1920 joined the staff of Leeds University as a lecturer. Four years later he was named Professor of Applied Mathematics, a post created especially for him.

In Leeds he became president of the Leeds Zionist Council, a post he left when he became a member of the World Zionist Executive in 1928. In 1939 he was named president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, a position he held until 1949.

During this period he spoke out, as a leader of British Jewry, against the policy of the Mandatory Government–Britain–on Palestine. In 1947 he appealed to all Jewish organizations to unite in an effort to secure a solution of the Palestine problem. At no time did he hesitate to attack the policies of the British Government when he felt such criticism was justified.

In 1950 he assumed the presidency of the Board of Governors of the Hebrew University, but ill health forced him to relinquish the post the following year. He had been active for many years on the board of the University and had served as its chairman.

Tributes were paid to his memory today by leaders of the Zionist Federation of Great Britain and by S. Levenberg, his successor in the post of chief of the Jewish Agency in London.

NEXT STORY