Brodetsky, Selig

(1888–1954)
   British mathematician and Zionist leader. Brodetsky was brought to England from the Ukraine at the age of five, and grew up in the Whitechapel district of London. He gained a scholarship to Cambridge, where he became senior wrangler, and obtained his doctorate at Leipzig. He taught applied mathematics at Bristol and then at Leeds (1920–49). His specialized field was aerodynamics and he published Mechanical Principles of the Aeroplane (1920). He also wrote a book on Isaac Newton, and his The Meaning of Mathematics (1929) was translated into several languages. Brodetsky was a life-long Zionist. In his student days he ran Zionist societies at Cambridge and Leipzig. He attended the Zionist Conference in London after World War I, and became head of the political office of the Jewish Agency in London. In a victory for the Zionist-oriented section of British Jewry, he was elected in 1939 president of the Board of Deputies and filled the post for ten years. In this capacity he severely criticized British policy in Palestine, while at the same time condemning Jewish terrorism. Brodetsky succeeded Dr WEIZMANN as president of the British Zionist Federation. In 1949 he moved to Israel and was appointed president of the Hebrew University, but owing to ill health and differences with the Board of Governors, he resigned in 1951 and returned to England. Brodetsky’s autobiography Memoirs: From Ghetto to Israel (1960), was published posthumously by his widow. He is remembered as a dedicated man of exceptional energy, zest and humour.

Who’s Who in Jewish History after the period of the Old Testament. . 2012.

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