Isaac Leib Goldberg

Isaac Leib Goldberg

Isaac Leib Goldberg (February 7, 1860 – September 14, 1935)[1] was a Zionist leader and philanthropist in both Ottoman Palestine and the Russian Empire. An early member of the Hovevei Zion movement (1882) he also founded the Ohavei Zion society.[2] Goldberg was a delegate to the First Zionist Congress and the founder of two Hebrew newspapers, Ha'aretz (today Israel's oldest daily newspaper) and Ha'am.[3]


Isaac Leib Goldberg with participants of First Zionist Congress in Jerusalem

Isaac (Yitzchak) Leib Goldberg was born on February 7, 1860 in Szaki, Congress Poland (present-day Šakiai, Lithuania) to Alexander Sander HaLevi Goldberg and Liba Segal. His brother was Boris Goldberg.[1] In his early years, Goldberg studied at Kovno Yeshiva and settled in Vilnius, Lithuania.[4] His wife was Rachel Pinnes and they had five children, Hannah Tolkowsky (wife of Shmuel Tolkowsky), Shulamit Hochfeld, Samuel Goldberg, Yehudit Klibanov, and Binyamin Zeev Goldberg.[1][5]

In 1903 the first plot of land for the Jewish National Fund was given as a gift by Goldberg for growing olives in Israel.[6] In 1908 he purchased the first plot of land on Mount Scopus, Jerusalem for the future Hebrew University. Isaac Leib Goldberg also helped create the Geulah Company for private land acquisition and sale in Israel, and the Carmel Company for sale of kosher wine.[2][7]

In 1919 he co-founded the newspaper Haaretz in Jerusalem.

Upon his death on September 14, 1935 in Switzerland,[1] Goldberg bequeathed one half of his estate to the Jewish National Fund for the promotion of Hebrew language and culture. This donation, known as the Isaac Leib and Rachel Goldberg Fund, amounted to roughly $30 million by today's standards.[5] Goldberg was buried in Trumpeldor Cemetery in Tel Aviv, Israel.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e Slutsky, Yehuda. "Sakiai". Jewish Virtual Library. American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise. Retrieved 2015-01-12.
    Anne Blejer, Hatte (2013-03-04). "Yitzchak Leib Goldberg". Geni. MyHeritage. Retrieved 2015-01-10.
  2. ^ a b Yehuda, Slutsky (2007). "Goldberg, Isaac Leib". Encyclopaedia Judaica. Retrieved 2015-01-10.
  3. ^ "Goldberg, Isaac Leib (1860-1935) Papers". Yivo Institute for Jewish Research. Retrieved 2015-01-10.
  4. ^ Cohn-Sherbok, Dan (1992). "Goldberg, Isaac Leib (1860–1935)". Wiley-Blackwell. The Blackwell Dictionary of Judaica. doi:10.1111/b.9780631187288.1992.x. ISBN 9780631187288. Retrieved 2015-01-10.
  5. ^ a b Patai, Raphael (1992). Journeyman in Jerusalem: Memories and Letters, 1933-1947. Oxford, England: University of Utah Press. p. 355. ISBN 0739102095. Retrieved 2015-01-10.
  6. ^ "Our History". Jewish National Fund. Retrieved 2015-01-10.
    Zvi Shilony, Ideology and Settlement; The Jewish National Fund, 1897-1914, Magnes Press (1998), 119-121.
  7. ^ Goldberg, Isaac L. (1904). "Zionism – Appeal for Assistance". Virtual Judaica (auction listing). Retrieved 2015-01-10.