Monday 30 May 2016


OYSHER-ZELIG VAYTSMAN (January 18, 1873-September 26, 1943)
            He was born in Vishegrad (Wyszogrod), Plotsk district, Poland, into a commercial household.  He was the brother-in-law of Professor Chaim Weitzman.  He studied in religious elementary schools, a Polish middle school, and graduated from Wallenberg’s Commercial School in Warsaw.  From his youth he was active in the Zionist movement.  Over the years 1909-1914, he lived in the land of Israel.  He was a pioneer in the industrial development of Haifa.  In the summer of 1914 he traveled to Poland as a community emissary, and due to the war he had to remain in Warsaw under German occupation.  He was general secretary of the Zionist Organization in Poland and of its Warsaw committee.  He cofounded the Hashomer Hatsair (Young guard) and Maccabi groups, among others.  In 1919 he returned to Haifa and until his death was one of the most prominent leaders in the settlement.  He served as treasurer of Hebrew University (1924-1929).  He was a member of the management of the Haganah (the Jewish paramilitary group), of the Jewish Archeological Society, and other groups.  He began writing articles for Glos Zydowski (Jewish voice), the first Zionist daily in Poland, in Warsaw in 1906, and he was also its editor.  At the same time, he contributed to: Yudishes tageblat (Jewish daily newspaper), edited by Sh. Y. Yatskan; later, Haynt (Today); Dos idishe folk (The Jewish people); Unzer lebn (Our life); and Hatsfira (The siren)—in Warsaw; and to the Zionist press and periodicals in the Diaspora and in Israel.  He died in Jerusalem.

Sources: Sefer haishim (Biographical dictionary) (Tel Aviv, 1936/1937), pp. 201-2; D. Tidhar, in Entsiklopedyah leḥalutse hayishuv uvonav (Encyclopedia of the pioneers and builders of the yishuv), vol. 3 (Tel Aviv, 1949), p. 1843.

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