Tuesday 17 February 2015


YITSḤAK BEN-AHARON (July 17, 1906-May 19, 2006)
     This was the adopted name of Yitskhok Nusboym, born in Buzhintcha, Bukovina, to a merchant household.  He graduated from a public school and a technical school in Czernowitz.  He studied political science at the University of Berlin.  At age fourteen he joined Hashomer Hatsair (Young Pioneers), and at age eighteen he was elected to the central committee for Romania and Germany.  From 1928 he was living in Palestine.  He was a founding member of a kibbutz in Haifa and a member of the local workers’ council (Mapai fraction).  As a result of the split in Mapai, he moved to “Unity of Labour Party” and later to Mapam.  He was an active leader in the Haganah from the time he arrived in Palestine.  From 1934 he was a delegate to Zionist Congresses.  In 1940 he volunteered in the British Palestinian army.  He fell into German captivity, was imprisoned in a camp in Germany, and then liberated in the spring of 1945 by the United States Army and returned to Palestine.  During the period of British actions against the Haganah, he was arrested and sent to Sarafand and Latrun.  He was a Mapam deputy in the Knesset.  He began writing in German for Ostjüdische Zeitung (Eastern Jewish newspaper) in Czernowitz.  He later switched to Hebrew and Yiddish, contributing to Unzer vort (Our word), Arbeter-vort (Workers’ word) in Poland, Arbeter-vort in Paris, Nay-velt (New world) in Israel, Unzer vort in Argentina, and Unzer veg (Our way) in New York, among others.  He also published in Davar (Word), Mibifnim (From within), Hapoel hatsair (Young worker), Kuntres (Pamphlet), Aḥdut (Unity), Al hamishmar (On guard), and Lemerḥav (Space), among others.  He edited the youth newspaper Hador hatsair (The young generation) in Hebrew and German in Czernowitz.  He wrote pamphlets about Zionist workers’ politics, including (in Yiddish): Di shtrayt-problemen in der tsienistisher bavegung (The issues of disputes in the Zionist movement) (written with Y. Ḥazan and Y. Zerubavel) (Tel Aviv, 1950), 16 pp.

[N. b. Ben-Aharon lived to be just shy of one hundred years, and this biography was composed at just the midpoint in his life.  He was to become one of the most important political figures in the early decades of the State of Israel—JAF]

Source: D. Tidhar, Entsiklopedyah lealutse hayishuv uvonav (Encyclopedia of the founders and builders of Israel), vol. 4 (Tel Aviv, 1950), pp. 1898.

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