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Rutenberg Bequeaths Property for Educational Fund for Jewish Unity in Palestine

January 6, 1942
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

All personal property of Pinchas Rutenberg who died here on Saturday has been bequeathed by him for the setting up of a Rutenberg Endowment Fund to be used “for the inculcation in our youth of the spirit of unity and brotherhood – the spirit of Israel,” it was disclosed here today when Rutenberg’s will, dated Oct. 14, 1941, was opened. The will specifies that the proceeds of Rutenberg’s estate would be transferred annually to this new fund.

In a second will, dated Nov, 5, 1941, Rutenberg explains that by setting up the fund he aims to cement unity in the Yishuv in the future. “The division of our people into communities, parties and sects has always been our disaster,” the will reads. “Civil strife has brought us to the brink of an abyss. If we do not cease, ruin confronts us. Therefore, my desire is that the Jewish youth of the Yishuv, growing up in its midst, should always remember that not this or that Jewish sect or party are being downtrodden by others, but the Jewish people as a whole. Whether we wish or do not wish to be brethren in distress let us realize that we must be brethren in life and in creative endeavor and in the action of upbuilding. Youth represents our hope for the future. Its proper Jewish education is a guarantee of our existence. The principles of education must be deep-rooted in common sense and knowledge and in unity, fraternity and a serious application to loyalty.”


It was revealed here today that shortly before his death Rutenberg said: “I am ashamed to die in bed. I would like to be able to get up and wear a uniform of a simple soldier and die on the battlefields fulfilling a duty to our people and humanity. I do not want to die now, I want to live at least two more years, because they will be decisive for humanity and for the Jewish people.”

Included in Rutenberg’s will was a request that both of his nephews say Kaddish for him. The funeral procession of the Yishuv leader, yesterday, wound its way from the Hadassah Hospital to the Mount of Olives through streets covered with deep snow, the heaviest that has fallen in Palestine in twenty years. Chief Rabbi Herzog threw the first handful of earth into the grave.

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