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Alexander Zaid

(1886 - 1938)

Born in Siberia, Alexander Zaid moved to Vilna at the age of 13 and subsequently joined the Zionist labor movement. In 1904 he was one of the first pioneers of the Second Aliyah to reach Eretz Yisrael, working in Rishon LeZion and Petah Tikvah. He was wounded by Arabs in Zikhron Ya'akov, and then moved to Jerusalem where he worked as a stonemason.

In 1907, he was one of the founders of a secret defense organization which was at the origins of the HaShomer organization. HaShomer was established in Kfar Tavor in the Lower Galilee in 1909. He devoted himself to the organization until his death.

In 1916, Zaid joined a group of HaShomer members who settled in Upper Galilee in what was to become Kfar Giladi. He stayed there for 10 years and then moved to nearby Tel Hai, and then to Sheikh Abrek in the Jezreel Valley to take charge of guarding the neighboring settlements for the Jewish National Fund. He was repeatedly faced with dangerous situations, but never abandoned his position, even when he was wounded by Arab rioters in 1932.

He was killed by Arabs while he was on guard duty in 1938. A statue of Zaid on horseback with a commanding view of the Jezreel Valley was erected at nearby Givat Zaid.

Sources: The Pedagogic Center, The Department for Jewish Zionist Education, The Jewish Agency for Israel, (c) 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, Director: Dr. Motti Friedman, Webmaster: Esther Carciente