ARYE TARTAKOVER (ARYEH TARTAKOWER) (September 24, 1897-November 20, 1982)
He was born in Brod (Brody), eastern Galicia, where his father was a prominent merchant and one of the Zionist pioneers in the city. As a child Arye attended an elementary school in Brod, later graduating from a middle school in Lemberg, before going on to study at the University of Vienna where he received his doctor of jurisprudence degree in 1920. Tartakover then moved to the land of Israel, and there he was among the builders of the Kibbutz “Kiryat Anavim” (City of grapes); he joined “Hapoel hatsair” (Young worker), was coopted onto the central committee of the party, and published his first essays in its principal organ: Hapoel hatsair. He was compelled to leave Israel, because he came down with a tropical disease and thus returned to Vienna, where he continued his studies in university, and in 1922 received his doctorate in political science—his dissertation was on agricultural cooperatives in Israel. That year he moved to Poland and lived in Warsaw and in Lodz—until the outbreak of WWII. During these years he was secretary general of the “Union of Hebrew-Polish Middle Schools in Poland.” From 1931 he was an instructor in Jewish history and sociology at the “Institute of Jewish Sciences in Poland” (founded in 1928 by Professor Meir Balalan), president of the “Jewish Emigration Society of Poland,” chairman of the Jewish community association of Lodz, a member of the Lodz city council, one of the founders of the Jewish World Congress in 1936, and a member of the “General Council” of the Congress. In terms of his own party politics, Tartakover was initially the leader of the Hitaḥdut (the “union” of young Zionists)—he was secretary of the World Hitaḥdut from 1927 to 1932—and later he joined the united “Hitaḥdut-Labor Zionist” (Zionist socialists); he took part in all of the Zionist congresses from 1927 to 1939, and he was a member of the Zionist General Council (Vaad hapoel) from 1929 forward. From the end of 1939 until 1946, he lived in the United States, and he was a member of the main leadership and substitute for the manager of scholarly division of sociology and demography at Hebrew University in Jerusalem. He was also chairman of the State of Israel division of the World Jewish Congress, and in 1949 he was one of the founders of the “Israel” Association at the United Nations. He visited North America, Argentina, and Western Europe, as well as countries behind the “Iron Curtain” (1957-1958) on behalf of the World Jewish Congress.
Tartakover’s literary-scholarly activities found expression primarily in the fields of Jewish sociology, demography, and migration statistics, and to an extent as well in the field of Jewish history. He wrote in Yiddish, Hebrew, Polish, German, and English, and he contributed to an assortment of journals and newspapers in these languages in Europe, North America, Argentina, and Israel. In book form and major works in journals, he published: Toldot tenuat haovdim hayehudit (History of the migration of Jewish labor), 3 vols. (Warsaw, 1929-1931); Żydzi w Polsce odrodzonej: działalność społeczna, gospodarcza, oświatowa i kulturalna (Jews in reborn Poland, social, economic, educational, and cultural activities), with Dr. Ignacy Schipper, 2 vols. (Warsaw, 1930-1932); Batei hasefer shel hatsibur hayehudi bepolin (Schools in the Jewish community in Poland) (Warsaw, 1933), 96 pp.; Haam hayehudi bizemanenu (The Jewish people in our time) (Lodz, 1935-1936), 138 pp.; “Vegn dem mehus un di oyfgabes fun a yidisher sotsyologye” (On the essence and the tasks of a Jewish sociology), Yivo-bleter (Pages from YIVO) (Vilna) 8 (1935), pp. 332-55; Dos yidishe emigratsye-problem un der yidisher velt-kongres (The issue of Jewish emigration and the World Jewish Congress) (Paris, 1936), 46 pp.; “Di idishe imigratsye keyn kanade” (Jewish immigration to Canada), Yidishe ekonomik (Jewish economics), a YIVO publication (Vilna) 2 (1938), pp. 225-31; Yidishe vanderungen (Jewish migrations) (Warsaw, 1939), 155 pp., later translated into Hebrew and published in Jerusalem in two editions (1940, 1947); Yidishe emigratsye un yidishe emigratsye-politik (Jewish emigration and Jewish emigration politics) (Vilna, 1939), 196 pp., an enlarged edition of Yidishe vanderungen; In kamf far broyt un koved, a yor sotsyale hilf-arbet fun yidishn velt-kongres (Struggling for bread and respect, a year of social assistance work by the World Jewish Congress) (New York, 1940), 38 pp.; “Hamakhon lemadae hayahadut bevarsha” (The Institute of Jewish Studies in Warsaw), in Kovets madai (Scientific proceedings) (New York, 1945), pp. 163-75; Yidishe kultur in poyln tsvishn beyde velt-milkhomes (Jewish culture in Poland between the two world wars), an offprint of Gedank un lebn (Thought and life), vol. 4, a publication of the Jewish teachers’ seminary in the people’s university in New York (April 1, 1946), 35 pp.; “Der yidisher aspekt fun iberdertsyen di daytshn” (The Jewish aspect of reeducating the Germans), Yivo-bleter (New York) 28 (1948), pp. 227-38; The Jewish Refugee, with Kurt R. Grossmann (New York, 1944), 25 pp.; Judaism and Socialism (New York, 1945), 25 pp.; Di grunt ideyen fun yidishn natsyonal-fond (The foundational ideas of the Jewish National Fund) (New York, 1952), 8 pp.; Haadam hanoded, al hahagira veal haaliya beaver uveyamenu (Wandering man, migration and immigration in the past and nowadays) (Tel Aviv, 1954), 375 pp.; Haḥevra hayehudit (Jewish society) (Tel Aviv-Jerusalem, 1955), 450 pp., for which he was awarded the Arthur Ruppin Prize in 1958, vol. 2 entitled Haḥevra hayerushalmit (Jerusalem society) (Tel Aviv-Jerusalem, 1959), 425 pp.; “A yoyvl fun yidisher sotsyologye” (A jubilee in Jewish nsociology), Di goldene keyt (The golden chain) (Tel Aviv) 27 (1957); Megilat hahityashvut (The declaration of settlement) (Tel Aviv, 1958), 394 pp.; In Search of Home and Freedom (London, 1958), 99 pp.; Hahityashvut hayehudit bagola (Jewish settlement abroad) (Tel Aviv, 1959), 344 pp., which received an award that year. He was co-editor of the quarterly journal Gesher (Bridge), published by the Jewish World Congress. He lived in Jerusalem until his death.
Sources: Universal Jewish Encyclopedia, vol. 10 (New York, 1943), p. 176; S. Wininger, Grosse Jüdische National Biographie (Great Jewish national biography), vol. 6 (Czernowitz, 1931), p. 83; Gershon Bader, Medina veḥakhameha (The state and its sages) (New York, 1934), pp. 113-14; D. Tidhar, in Entsiklopedyah leḥalutse hayishuv uvonav (Encyclopedia of the pioneers and builders of the yishuv), vol. 4 (Tel Aviv, 1950), pp. 1859-60; Dr. M. Dvorzhetski (Mark Dvorzetsky), in Ilustrirte literarishe bleter (Buenos Aires) 3-4 (March-April 1957); L. Leshtsinski, in Tsukunft (New York) (July-August 1957); L. Bernshteyn, in Di goldene keyt (Tel Aviv) 27 (1957); Khayim Leyb Fuks, in Fun noentn over (New York) 3 (1957), pp. 214, 254, 262; M. Ravitsh, Mayn leksikon (My lexicon), vol. 3 (Montreal, 1958), pp. 192-93; A. Shmueli, in Hadoar (New York) (Adar 19 [= March 18], 1960); Gesher (Jerusalem) 4 (21) (1959/1960), pp. 117-18.