Thursday 17 September 2015


MEYER GRABOVSKI (January 1905-November 24, 1963)
            He later would use the family name Argov.  He was born in Rîbnița (Rybnica), Podolia region, Ukraine [now in Moldova], into a scholarly family of grain merchants.  Until age ten he studied in religious elementary school, later with private tutors.  In 1921 he graduated from a Hebrew high school in Ekaterinoslav.  Over the years 1921-1922 he studied history and philosophy at Kiev University.  From his early youth, he was active in the Zionist and pioneer movement, chair of the Haḥalutz (The pioneer) movement, and a member of the central committee of the Zionist socialists in Ukraine.  He was arrested several times by the Bolsheviks for Zionist activities.  In 1925 he came to Israel, where for a time he worked on a farm.  From 1926 he was one of the most active labor leaders in Israel.  He was a member of the central committee of Mapai (Mifleget poale erets yisrael, or Workers’ party of the land of Israel) and of the Histadrut Executive Committee.  He served as secretary of the workers’ council in Petaḥ Tikva and a councilor of the city council.  Over the years 1931-1947, he was a member of the National Council and its representative in the World Jewish Congress.  In 1938 he was a Mapai delegate to the international workers’ congress in Warsaw.  From the end of 1939 until 1946, he was a volunteer in the Jewish Brigade in the British Army and one of senior officers of Bricha (“escape” [underground organization to bring Holocaust survivors to Israel]) in Germany.  He was an organizer of the world conference of Jewish participants in WWII.  He took part in the provisional government in the Jewish state, and he was a signatory to the Declaration of Independence.  He was a delegate to the first Knesset.  He began writing for publications of the Zionist socialists in Russia: Haḥalutz, Bafrayung (Liberation) in Warsaw, and the like.  He also contributed to Dos fraye vort (The free word) in Lemberg, 1930-1934, and he was a regular contributor to Hapoel-hatsair (Young worker), Davar (Word), and in the Yiddish and Hebrew workers’ press in the state of Israel and abroad.  He died in Peta Tikva.

Sources: D. Tidhar, in Entsiklopedyah lealutse hayishuv uvonav (Encyclopedia of the founders and builders of Israel), vol. 4 (Tel Aviv, 1950), pp. 1826-27; Who’s Who in World Jewry (New York), p. 26.

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