Page 130 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 37

Basic HTML Version

put his full imprint on the movement. He stressed the participa­
tion of religious Zionism with general Zionism, despite the attacks
o f the extreme observant rightists and the secularist leftists. He
held that it was imperative for observant Jews not to divorce
themselves from the cause of the Jewish homeland, and stressed
the slogan — “The land of Israel for the people of Israel in accord
with the Torah of Israel.” Bar-Ilan traveled to different countries
enunciating this view and publicizing the principles and ideals of
the Mizrachi movement.
In 1915 Bar-Ilan could remain no longer in Germany and
settled in America where he engaged fully in educational and
communal activity. Here he gave leadership to the religious
Zionists and served as president of the U.S. Mizrachi. He contin­
ued the publication of
and also founded the Bet Midrash
Le-Morim, which ultimately became the Teachers’ Institute of
Yeshiva University under the deanship of Dr. Pinkhos Churgin.
He helped to strengthen the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Yeshiva and to
further day school education. Such agencies as the Joint Distribu­
tion Committee and its cultural committee, the Ezras Torah fund
of Agudas ha-Rabbanim, and the Jewish National Fund were also
organized with his help and he was most active in their work.
Together with Louis Brandeis he was closely involved in the
efforts of the Provisional Zionist Committee to obtain American
recognition of the Balfour Declaration and support of the British
Mandate in 1917.
In 1926 Bar-Ilan settled in Palestine and held positions in the
Zionist Actions Committee and Vaad Leumi. He opposed in 1937
any partition of Palestine, and when the White Paper was pub­
lished in 1939 he insisted on non-cooperation with the British
administration. He was among those who were instrumental in
setting up the
Kofer Ha-Yishuv,
the illegal fund that collected
monies to purchase arms for the Haganah and to strengthem the
settlements. He personally offered to hide Menachem Begin
from the British in his own house, but Begin did not accept in
order not to endanger the life of his friend.
Bar-Ilan lived in Israel for 23 years during which he worked
diligently to rebuild the Homeland in the shadow of Arab con­
flict, World War II and the Holocaust. After the death of
Menachem Ussishkin and before the appointment of Dr. Ab­
raham Granott, he served for a time as president of the Jewish
National Fund. Between 1938-1949 he was editor-in-chief of the