Peretz Smolenskin, 1842-1885

Born into poverty in Russia, Smolenskin emerged as a prominent Hebrew writer and early proponent of the Zionist movement during the 19th century. His novels depicting Jewish life conveyed his political ideas and social grievances. He founded a Hebrew journal in Vienna, HaShachar (The Dawn), that served as a platform to popularize the Jewish Enlightenment (Haskalah) and Jewish nationalism.

Photo: Public domain