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David Gordon

(1831 - 1886)

David Gordon was one of the early supporters of the Hibbat Zion movement, and the first Hebrew journalist to propagate Zionist views through his publications.

Born in Vilna, Gordon received a yeshiva education and then became a student of the Haskalah Movement [Enlightenment]. He lived briefly in England and taught foreign languages before settling in Lyck, Prussia, in 1858. There he became assistant editor of HaMaggid, the first Hebrew newspaper. Gordon wrote for the paper for many years, and in 1880 was named editor, although in practice he had been filling this role for a while.

In HaMaggid Gordon wrote on contemporary issues and articles relating to popular science and medicine. In addition, from the 1860's and on, Gordon also wrote many articles supporting a Jewish national revival in Eretz Yisrael. These articles were the first of their kind in Hebrew, and the newspaper in effect became a voice for Zionist ideology. Gordon believed firmly in the need for a Jewish homeland, and he objected vociferously to the Reform Movement's excision of the prayer for a return to Zion from the liturgy. He also became a vocal supporter of Hebrew as the language of the Jews.

From 1879-1881, Gordon wrote a literary and scientific supplement to the newspaper, which he entitled "Maggid Mishneh." In addition, he edited and wrote for other papers, including the London Jewish Chronicle, and during the last two years of his life, he published "Ahavat Zion," a bi-weekly publication devoted exclusively to Zionist ideas. He was also active in the Hibbat Zion movement, and worked to connect those of Zionist leanings from various parts of Europe.

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