Joseph Weitz, JNF Leader, Dies at 82

Joseph Weitz, a veteran of the Jewish National Fund, died Friday at the age of 82. He was a leading figure in the second aliya and considered the “father of Israeli forestry.” Born in Wolhynia, Russia, Mr. Weitz came to Palestine in 1908 and became active in the agricultural workers union. After World War I he was appointed inspector general of the JNF forests, and 10 years later was appointed head of the JNF’s lands and forests department.

In the latter post, which he held for 10 years, he was instrumental in helping new kibbutzim and moshavim strike roots in Israel. During the 1950′s and 1960′s he was a leading member of various JNF departments and the Israel Land Authority, Israel Soil Development Council. In addition to his field work and administrative activities, Mr. Weitz wrote many works on agriculture and was the author of childrens’ books. Frequently he wrote under the pen name of Ben Porat and Yost Hagalili.

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