Eliezer Ben-Yehuda, 1858-1922

Ben-Yehuda was born in Belarus and moved to Palestine in 1881. He championed the use of modernized Hebrew as an essential element of Zionism. He edited Hebrew newspapers, created the first modern Hebrew dictionary and founded the Va’ad HaLashon (precursor of the Academy of the Hebrew Language). Before his death, the British recognized Hebrew as the official language of Palestine’s Jews.

Photo: Central Zionist Archives