Yitzhak Elazari Volcani

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Yitzhak Volcani in 1923

Yitzhak Elazari Volcani (Hebrew: יצחק אביגדור אלעזרי-וולקני, January 28, 1880 - May 24, 1955)[1] was a writer, agronomist and botanist, pioneer of agricultural research in Israel and the founder of Volcani Center of Agricultural Research.

Born as Yitzchak-Avigdor Wilkansky in Eišiškės, Russian Empire (now in Lithuania),[2] Elazari-Volcani got a degree in Agronomy from the University of Königsberg[3] and made aliyah to Erez Israel in 1908.[4][5] There, he worked as a director of experimental farm in Ben Shemen and Huldah,[2][6][7] where he lived from 1914,[8] and was a member of Zionist organization Hapoel Hatzair.[5] He founded the first agricultural research station in Israel,[9] that later became a faculty of the Hebrew University.[3] As a member of Hapoel Hatzair, Volcani was a proponent of moshav rather that kibbutz, believing in a "personal freedom of creation" as opposed by more collectivist kibbutz movement.[10] Volcani was a member of Executive Committee of the Zionist Organization in Palestine, and advisor of the World Zionist Organization.[3]

He wrote several plays and articles in Hebrew under pseudonyms Ben Avuya and A. Zioni.[2][8]

His brother, Meir Wilkansky (1882–1949), was a Hebrew writer and translator.[2][11] His son, Benjamin Elazari Volcani, was a biologist who found life in the Dead Sea;[12] his daughter, Zafrira Volcani (1910-1988), was a microbiologist.[13]



  1. ^ "יצחק אביגדור אלעזרי-וולקני". library.osu.edu. Retrieved 24 June 2023.
  2. ^ a b c d "Элазари-Волкани Авигдор Ицхак". Электронная еврейская энциклопедия ОРТ (in Russian). Retrieved 24 June 2023.
  3. ^ a b c Berg, Gerry (2001). "Zionism's Gender: Hannah Meisel and the Founding of the Agricultural Schools for Young Women". Israel Studies. 6 (3): 135–165. doi:10.1353/is.2001.0024. Retrieved 24 June 2023.
  4. ^ "Yitzhak Elazari-Volcani (Wilkanski)". www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org. Retrieved 24 June 2023.
  5. ^ a b "Itzhak Elazari-Volcani, 1880-1955". CIE. 11 August 2022. Retrieved 24 June 2023.
  6. ^ "יצחק אלעזרי וילקנסקי-וולקני, "חוזה המחקר החקלאי" - מכון וולקני". www.agri.gov.il. Retrieved 24 June 2023.
  7. ^ "The Second Decade: 1911-1920 - Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael - KKL-JNF". www.kkl-jnf.org. Retrieved 24 June 2023.
  8. ^ a b Shapira, Anita; Berris, Anthony (2015). Yosef Haim Brenner: a life. Stanford (Calif.): Stanford university press. pp. 95, 110, 284. ISBN 9780804785273.
  9. ^ "AGRICULTURE IN THE DESERT". The Furrow | The John Deere Magazine. Retrieved 24 June 2023.
  10. ^ Penslar, Derek Jonathan (2000). "Technical expertise and the construction of the rural Yishuv, 1882–1948". Jewish History. 14 (2): 201–224. doi:10.1023/a:1007120221297.
  11. ^ "מאיר וילקנסקי". library.osu.edu. Retrieved 25 June 2023.
  12. ^ "University of California: In Memoriam, 2000". texts.cdlib.org. Retrieved 25 June 2023.
  13. ^ "Obituary: Zafrira Volcani". Springer Netherlands. September 1989. Archived from the original on 2011-08-26. Retrieved 2010-06-16.

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