Benchmarks in the Life of a Bukovinian Jew – Mayer Ebner Cover Image

Benchmarks in the Life of a Bukovinian Jew – Mayer Ebner

Author(s): Radu Florian Bruja
Subject(s): Jewish Thought and Philosophy
Published by: Editura Academiei Române
Keywords: Jewish community; Bukovina; Great Romania; Zionism; Jewish National Council; anti-Semitism; Parliament;

Summary/Abstract: Mayer Ebner (1872-1955) was a famous Zionist politician and journalist from Bukovina. Born in Czernowitz in a bourgeois family, he studied law at the “Franz Joseph” University from the capital of Bukovina. As a young man, he felt that a liberal ideal of Jewish assimilation has failed and that outbreaks of anti-Semitism in the last decade of the 19th century required change. Since 1894, Mayer Ebner was an editor of “Das Jüdische Echo”, then of “Die Welt”. Adept of Theodor Herzl’s “Judenstaat”, Ebner participated at the first Zionist Congress held in Basel, in 1897. Afterwards, he became one of the pioneers of the Zionist idea in Bukovina. In October 1918, he represented as a leader the Jewish National Council in Bukovina, which was established in October 1918, when the Habsburg monarchy fell and Bukovina was annexed to Romania. In the interwar period, Mayer Ebner pleaded with the new authorities to respect the civilian rights of the Jews from Bukovina, as well as for immediately granting such rights to all Jews in Romania. He was one Zionist leader who succeeded in combining Zionist activity with the political and cultural struggle to safeguard the identity, rights and freedom of the Jews of the Diaspora. From 1926 to 1933 (except for the years 1931–1932), Mayer Ebner served as a deputy or senator of several legislatures in the Romanian Parliament, boldly defending the interests of the Jewish minority and resisting discriminatory tendencies and increasingly frequent anti-Semitic excesses. In 1931, he took part in the establishment of the pro-Zionist Jewish National Party of Romania, which was originally opposed to the Union of Romanian Jews. In 1940, Mayer Ebner immigrated in Palestine, where he was an involved witness to the birth of the state of Israel.

  • Issue Year: 52/2019
  • Issue No: 1
  • Page Range: 137-152
  • Page Count: 16
  • Language: Romanian