Arlosoroff Chaim (1899-1933)

Zionist leader of the Yishuv during the British Mandate for Palestine

chaim Arlosoroff (1899-1933) Meeting of Zionist Leaders with Arabs from Transjordan (1931)

The murder of Chaim Arlosoroff robbed the Jewish people of one of the most brilliant and exciting Zionist leaders in Palestine. Arlosoroff was born in Russia, but anti-Semitism forced his family to leave his birthplace and to settle in Germany, where Chaim grew up and went to school. Being very interested in economics, he studied at the University of Berlin where he received a doctorate in that subject. While he was attending the university, Arlosoroff wrote articles on Zionist matters, such as getting money to the settlers in Palestine, and planning a program of cooperation between Jews and Arabs. After finishing his studies he left Germany for Erez Israel in 1924.

Arlosoroff became a leader of Mapai, the most important Jewish political party of the time, and was a close friend of the great scientist and statesman, Chaim Weizmann. His talents were recognized early, and Arlosoroff was soon appointed head of the political department of the Jewish Agency. At first he believed that the British would help settling Jews in Palestine, so he worked with the British government which was in charge of running that territory. Soon Arlosoroff came to feel that the British could not be trusted and that the Jews must risk angering them in order to rebuild their own homeland and save the Jews of Europe. As the terrible deeds of the Nazis against the Jews became known to him, Arlosoroff threw himself into the work of rescuing Jews. He was willing to fight the British and the Arabs in order to do that.

In 1933, in the middle of his great work as a Zionist political leader and as a writer with great influence, Chaim Arlosoroff was murdered. He was killed while walking with his wife on a beach in Tel Aviv. Even today the mystery of who killed him has not been solved. Some think that other Zionists who disagreed with his views killed him; another opinion is that two Arabs did it. His death was a terrible loss for the entire Jewish community. His memory is honored today by the many streets named after him throughout the towns of Israel and in the names of the settlements Kefar Hayyim, Kiryat Hayyim, and Kibbutz Giv'at Hayyim.


Entry taken from "Junior Judaica, Encyclopedia Judaica for Youth" CD-ROM

by C.D.I. Systems 1992 (LTD) and Keter.




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14 Apr 2005 / 5 Nisan 5765 0