Friday 25 September 2015


            He was born in Temryuk, Kuban district, northern Caucasus.  He was the younger brother of Vladimir Grosman.  He received his secular education in Odessa, St. Petersburg, and Berlin.  He began his journalistic activities in 1905 in the Krasnodar Russian newspaper Kuban’skyi krai (Kuban region), and he later contributed to the Russian-language press in St. Petersburg and Moscow.  He was also editor for a number of Russian provincial newspapers, such as: Birzhevye (Exchange), Vedomosti (Gazette), Ruskoie slovo (Russian word), Den’ (Day), and Satirikon (Satyricon).
From 1910 he devoted his attention to Jewish journalistic matters.  He published in Fraynd (Friend), Haynt (Today), Moment (Moment), Novyi voskhod (New rising), and Razsviet (Dawn); and in the New York press for Tog (Day), Varhayt (Truth), and Tsayt (Times), among others.  In 1913 he edited in Berlin the Russian Jewish magazine Evreyskii student (Jewish student) and the illustrated humor newspaper Der ashmodai.  With the outbreak of WWI, he moved to Copenhagen, Denmark, where for a time he edited Kopenhagen tog-blat (Copenhagen daily newspaper), first issue dated August 10, 1914, later Di yudishe folkstsaytung (The Jewish people’s newspaper) from the end of November 1914 until 1916.  In late 1915, he published together with Vladimir Zhabotinsky the Zionist activist organ Di tribune (The tribune) which appeared with breaks (also for a time a daily newspaper) until late 1922 in Copenhagen and London, and ultimately as a monthly magazine in Berlin.  During the Russian Revolution of 1917, he spent some time in Ukraine.  In Kiev, he edited the Zionist weekly newspaper Af der vokh (During the week) and the daily Di velt (The world) in 1919.  He was a member of the Ukrainian Zionist Center, of the Jewish National Assembly, of the Provisional National Council, and of the Ukrainian Rada (parliament).  From 1919 he was living in London, where (together with Jacob Landau) he founded the Jewish Correspondence Bureau, with branches in New York, Warsaw, and Berlin, later reorganized into the Jewish Telegraphic Agency (ITA), of which he was director and editor, and on its behalf visited the United States in 1925.  He was a regular contributor to Tog (Day) in New York, and for a time he served as its news editor.
From 1925 Grosman was the main assistant to Vladimir Zhabotinsky in establishing the Zionist Revisionist movement (Brit Hatsahar) worldwide, and he remained its vice-chairman until the party rift in 1933.  From 1927 he was a delegate of the Revisionist Party to all Zionist congresses.  In 1929 his pamphlet appeared: Farvos zaynen mir kegn der “gemishter” idisher agentur? (Why are we opposed to the mixed Jewish Agency?) (Paris, 50 pp.).  In 1933 after the split of the party at Katowice, he left the Revisionist ranks, founded the Jewish State Party, and stood at the head of this new party until the reunification of the Revisionists in 1948.  In 1934 he made aliya to Israel.  In Tel Aviv he published Iton meyuḥad (Newspaper extra), and he founded the first English-language newspaper in Israel, Palestine Bulletin.  During WWII he lived in the United States, doing work for his party, and writing for newspapers.  In 1948 he returned to Israel and until 1951 was co-editor of Haboker (This morning) in Tel Aviv.  After the founding of the state of Israel, he joined the leadership of the Jewish Agency as director of its economics department.  He was a member of the Zionist World Executive, living in Jerusalem.  He died in Tel Aviv.

Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol.1; M. Y. Nirenberger, “Ernst un shpil afn tsienistishn kongres” (Seriousness and play at the Zionist congress), Morgn-zhurnal (New York) (September 9, 1935); D. Tidhar, in Entsiklopedyah lealutse hayishuv uvonav (Encyclopedia of the pioneers and builders of the yishuv), vol. 4 (Tel Aviv, 1950), pp. 1927-1928; Who’s Who in World Jewry (New York, 1955).

Yitskhok Kharlash

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