NIEGO, JOSEPH (1863–1945), teacher and social worker. Niego was born in Adrianople into a rabbinical family. In about 1891 he was appointed director of the *Mikveh Israel Agricultural School (near Tel Aviv). He served in this post for 18 years, and during that time he went to Kurdistan on behalf of the *Alliance Israélite Universelle. On his return he presented an interesting report about the Kurdish Jews which was published in French and in a Hebrew translation. Later he was nominated as inspector of the Jewish Colonization Association agricultural settlements in Oriental and European countries, including its colonies in Palestine (Gederah, Be'er-Toviyyah, Sejera, Ḥaderah, etc.). He remained at this post for 20 years. His headquarters were in Istanbul, but he was also very active in agricultural research in Anatolia. In 1923 he became the manager of a loan association in Istanbul which was established by the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee. Niego took part in the social life of the Jews in the city and was president of the B'nai B'rith Grand Orient Lodge. A jubilee book was published on his 70th birthday that was dedicated to his activities and includes some of his lectures and articles (see bibl.).
Cinquante Années de Travail dans les Oeuvres Juives… Bulletin Publié à l'Occasion du sixante-dixième Anniversaire… J. Niego (1933); M.D. Gaon, Yehudei ha-Mizraḥ be-Ereẓ Yisrael, 2 (1938), 468f.; M. Benayahu, Massa Bavel (1955), 43.
Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.