Avraham Herzfeld

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Avraham Herzfeld
Avraham Herzfeld.jpg
Date of birth 21 June 1891
Place of birth Stavisht, Russian Empire (now Ukraine)
Year of aliyah 1914
Date of death 30 August 1973(1973-08-30) (aged 82)
Knessets 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Faction represented in Knesset
1949–1961 Mapai

Avraham Herzfeld (also Harzfeld) (Hebrew: אברהם הרצפלד‎‎, 5 June 1891 – 30 August 1973) was a Zionist activist and Israeli politician.


Avraham Herzfeld (born Postrelko) was born in Stavisht, Russian Empire (now Ukraine) in 1891. He attended a yeshiva and was certified as a rabbi. In 1906, he joined the Socialist Zionists. He was arrested in Vilna in 1910 for revolutionary activities, and was exiled to Siberia. In 1914, he immigrated to Ottoman Palestine and worked as an agricultural laborer in Petah Tikva.[1]

Public and political career[edit]

During World War I, Herzfeld was active on behalf of Yishuv members arrested by the Ottoman authorities. From 1914 to 1918 he was a member of the Poale Zion party. He was one of the founders of the Ahdut HaAvoda party in 1919 and one of its active members until 1930, when he joined Mapai. In 1920, he was one of the founders of the Histadrut. He was also one of leaders of the Agricultural Association in Palestine.[1]

Avraham Herzfeld giving a speech during the establishment of Kibbutz Harel, 27th October 1948

He headed the settlement department of the Agricultural Association and was involved in the establishment of new settlements for forty years. He was a member of the Jewish National Fund from 1949 to his death.[1] He was known for his habit of bursting into song, sometimes in the middle of his speeches.[2] On the establishment of kibbutz Hatzerim in 1946, he sang a popular song: "This is our fate, / Thus we are commanded, / This is the road, / This our aim, / We have not labored in vain".[3]

Herzfeld's grave, Kinneret cemetery

In 1949, Herzfeld was elected to the first Knesset for Mapai and remained an MK until 1965. He was a member of the Knesset's Finance Committee, to which he would refer as the "Finance Commission". After his retirement, he worked for the elderly.[2] In 1972, he was awarded the Israel Prize for his special contribution to society and the State.[1][4] He died in 1973. His house in Holon serves as a museum of the city's history.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d "Herzfeld, Avraham". The Israeli Labor Movement (in Hebrew). Archived from the original on 9 June 2009. Retrieved 16 October 2008. 
  2. ^ a b Segev, Tom (14 September 2006). "What Aharon Barak leaves behind". Haaretz. Retrieved 16 October 2008. 
  3. ^ Gavron, Daniel (25 May 2000). The Kibbutz: Awakening from Utopia. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc. p. 121. ISBN 0-8476-9526-3. 
  4. ^ "Israel Prize Official Site - Recipients in 1972 (in Hebrew)". 
  5. ^ "Center". ERETZ Magazine. Archived from the original on 15 October 2008. Retrieved 16 October 2008. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Kushnir, Shimon (1962). Fields and Heart: Chapters in the Life of Avraham Herzfeld (in Hebrew). 
  • Kushnir, Shimon (1967). The Village Builder A Biography of Abraham Harzfeld. Herzl Press. 
  • Meyerowitz, Aaron (1978). Like a Wandering Songster: the Pleasures of Herzfeld (in Hebrew). 

External links[edit]