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Dr. Hayim Greenberg Jewish Agency Leader, Dead; Funeral Today

March 16, 1953
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Dr. Hayim Greenberg, member of the Jewish Agency executive and leading philosopher of the Labor Zionist movement, died at his home yesterday at the age of 63, after a prolonged illness. Funeral services will be held at 2 P. M. tomorrow at Congregation B’nai Jeshurun.

The news of Dr. Greenberg’s death shocked not only his many friends in this country, but also many leading personalities in Israel, including Prime Minister David Ben Gurion who frequently sought Dr. Greenberg’s advice. Messages of sympathy poured into the New York offices of the Jewish Agency today from all parts of the world.

Dr. Greenberg, long a leader of the Labor Zionist movement, was an outstanding figure on the world Zionist scene for more than 35 years as editor, essayist, orator and political theoretician. He played a major role in the United Nations deliberations which led to the establishment of Israel, by winning over many of the Latin American delegates to the Jewish cause.

As head of the Department for Education and Culture of the World Zionist Organization, Dr. Greenberg directed efforts to forge strong cultural ties between Israel and Jews all over the world, particularly those in the United States and Latin American countries. During the past year alone his Department organized and conducted special seminars and lecture courses in six countries, including Israel and the United States, which were attended by more than 500 teachers of Hebrew, students and student-teachers from all parts of the world.


Born in 1889 in the village of Todoristi, Bessarabia, Dr. Greenberg came to the United States in 1924 and became editor of the “Yiddisher Kempfer”–“The Jewish Fighter”–Yiddish language organ of the Labor Zionist Organization of America. In 1934 he became editor of the group’s English magazine, “The Jewish Frontier.” He held both these posts until his death. He was elected to the Jewish Agency executive at the 22nd World Zionist Congress in Basle, Switzerland, in 1946.

Dr. Greenberg, who was self-taught in both Hebrew and Russian, joined the Zionist movement while a boy, at the age of 15, delivered his first address at an illegal Zionist demonstration in Russia. While still in his teens he moved to Odessa, then one of the great centers of Russian Jewry, and plunged into the Jewish cultural and Zionist circles dominated by such historic figures as Bialik and Ussishkin.

He had long been active in the editorial field. The outbreak of World War I found him in Moscow editing the Russian-Jewish weekly “Rassweit” “The Dawn.” For a time after the March revolution of 1917 he was an instructor in medieval Jewish literature and Greek drama at the University of Charkov and was also a lecturer at the Kiev Academy. The Bolshevik revolution and the and Zionist policies of the Soviet Government led to his several arrests. In 1921 he left Russia and moved to Berlin where he edited “Haolam”–“The World”–official weekly of the World Zionist Organization. He also edited the Zionist monthly “Atidenu” “Our Future.”

Dr. Greenberg’s advice on opinions were always solicited by the top Zionist leaders. In recent years Prime Minister Ben Gurion has frequently sought his advice and analysis of problems affecting the relation between Israel and overseas Jewry.

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