HALPERN, GEORG GAD (1878–1962), economist and leading figure in the economic activities of the Zionist Organization. Born in Pinsk, Halpern studied economics in Germany (his doctoral dissertation was entitled Die juedischen Arbeiter in London, 1903). He became active in Zionist affairs in his youth and, beginning in 1903, he attended all Zionist Congresses. During the period of the democratic fraction , he became a close associate of Chaim Weizmann and throughout the years served as an adviser for and administrator of the financial affairs and economic institutions of the Zionist Organization. He also wrote on economic affairs for the German press and was the director of an oil company. From 1921 to 1928 he was a director of the jewish colonial Trust in London. Halpern was the moving force behind various economic institutions sponsored by the Zionist Organization: the Anglo-Palestine Bank, the Palestine Electric Corporation, keren hayesod , the Land Development Co., etc. He settled in Palestine in 1933, founded the Migdal Insurance Co. (1934), and was a member of the board of Bank Leumi. -BIBLIOGRAPHY: Tidhar, 10 (1959), 3613; Sefer Pinsk (1966), 508–9. (Getzel Kressel)

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

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