Menachem Ussishkin

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Menachem Ussishkin
Home of Menachem Ussishkin in Rehavia, Jerusalem

Menachem Ussishkin (Russian: Авраам Менахем Мендл Усышкин Avraham Menachem Mendel Ussishkin, Hebrew: מנחם אוסישקין) (August 14, 1863 – October 2, 1941) was a Russian-born Zionist leader and head of the Jewish National Fund.

Menachem Ussishkin was born in Dubroŭna in the Belarusian part of the Russian Empire. In 1889, he graduated as a technical engineer from Moscow State Technical University, today known as Bauman Moscow State Technical University. Ussishkin was among the founders of the BILU movement and the Moscow branch of the Hovevei Zion. He also joined the Bnei Moshe society founded by Ahad HaAm. In 1891, he made his first trip to Palestine.[1]

He served as Secretary of the First Zionist Congress. At the Sixth Zionist Congress he opposed the Uganda plan.

He was one of the Jewish delegates to the Paris peace conference after World War I.[1]

In 1919, Ussishkin made aliyah to Palestine. In 1920 he was appointed head of the Zionist Commission in Palestine.[1] In his pamphlet "Our Program" he advocated group settlement based on labour Zionism. Under his influence, the Zionist movement actively supported the establishment of agricultural settlements, educational and cultural institutions, and Jewish polytechnic - later the Technion.

In 1923 he was elected President of the Jewish National Fund which he headed until his death. Ussishkin was behind major land acquisitions in the Hefer, Jezreel and Beit She'an valleys.

On his 70th birthday, Ussishkin had all the street signs on his street in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Rehavia changed from Rechov Yehuda HaLevy to Rechov Ussishkin, ordering the new ceramic signs from local Armenian craftspeople.[2]

He died in 1941 in Jerusalem at the age of 78. He is buried in Nicanor's Cave at the botanical gardens of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem on Mount Scopus.[3]


  1. ^ a b c "Menachem Mendel Ussishkin". The complete guide to Israeli postage stamps from 1948 onward. Boeliem.
  2. ^ Kurtz, Chani. "Road of Remembrance: Street names and their stories". Binah Pesach supplement, 2015, p. 54.
  3. ^ Mount Scopus botanical garden

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