KAPLAN, ISAAC (1878–1976), leader of Jewish farmers in Argentina and veteran Zionist. Born in Svisloch, Belorussia, in 1895 Kaplan arrived in Argentina with his family and went directly to Colonia Clara in Entre Ríos, one of the colonies of the Jewish Colonization Association. Together with Miguel Sajaroff and Noé Yarcho, Kaplan was among the most enthusiastic promoters of the cooperative movement among the colonists through his work in the Fondo Communal of Clara, founded in 1904. Kaplan advocated the doctrines of the Fondo Communal, which began as an institution to help the colonists and later developed into a cooperative, in articles in Colono Cooperador (the Jewish settlers' monthly paper), which he headed from 1921 to 1947. He also held executive positions in the Federación Agraria Israelita Argentina, founded in 1925, and was an active participant in various national and provincial agrarian congresses. He promoted the passage of various laws in the Argentinian parliament for the welfare of all colonists and was appointed to serve on several projects by the secretary of agriculture. He was also one of the founders of the Zionist organizations in the Jewish colonies and held leading positions in the major Jewish institutions in Buenos Aires (e.g., the Federación Sionista Argentina, over which he presided for eight years; the JNF; Keren Hayesod; and DAIA).
[Victor A. Mirelman]
Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.