Zilberfarb, Moishe

Zilberfarb, Moishe [Silberfarb, Moses; Зілберфарб, Мойше], b 1876 in Rivne, d 1934 in Warsaw. Jewish political activist in Ukraine. A leader of the United Jewish Socialist Workers’ party, Zilberfarb became the Jewish deputy of the Central Rada’s general secretary for nationality affairs on 27 July 1917 (see General Secretariat of the Central Rada), a member of the Committee for the Defense of the Revolution on 7 November, general secretary for Jewish affairs on 22 November, and, finally, minister for Jewish affairs on 22 January 1918; he resigned from the government as of 29 January 1918. Zilberfarb had been a long-standing proponent of Jewish autonomism before the Revolution of 1917 and therefore welcomed the Central Rada’s and the Ukrainian National Republic’s policies of national-personal autonomy for national minorities in Ukraine; he drafted legislation regarding Jewish autonomy in Ukraine. In 1918–20 Zilberfarb headed the Jewish People’s University and Cultural League in Kyiv. In 1921 he left Ukraine for Warsaw. Zilberfarb published, in Yiddish, an account of the Jewish ministry and Jewish national autonomy in Ukraine (1919). His collected works were published in 2 vols (1935, 1937).

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 5 (1993).]

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