Berl Katznelson Figurine
Berl Katznelson (1887-1944) | A prominent leader and thinker of the labor movement in Israel, journalist, founder of Davar daily newspaper and one of the founders of the Histadrut workers union. Born in Belarus, he witnessed in 1904 a pogrom in Smila that caused him to join the city’s defense group, and in 1905 he joined the Zionist-socialist workers party. In 1909, he immigrated to Eretz Israel, worked as a farmer and dedicating himself to the Zionist idea. He believed that socialist Zionism and the conquest of labor was the primary way that the Jewish nation could be redeemed in its land. He belonged to the "non-partisan" group of workers, and acted vigorously for the unification of the workers of Israel. During WWI, he enlisted to the Jewish Legion, and afterward helped found Ahdut HaAvoda. As a thinker and philosopher, he presented his ideas in Davar newspaper, which he founded, and wrote the original text of Yizkor Am Israel prayer. Katznelson played a central role in establishing initiatives that are still the basis of Israel’s current socio-economic form of economy, including Clalit Health Services, Bank Hapoalim, and Solel Boneh. Died at the age of 57 in Jerusalem.