b. 1930. Israeli writer. Zach emigrated to Palestine in 1930. He was educated at the Hebrew University and has taught at Essex University in England and Haifa University. He is best known for his poetry and he is regarded as one of the central figures in Israeli literature. He insists on the poet's freedom from all externally imposed ideology and he has attacked Natan ALTERMAN for his adherence to the norms of European symbolism. A selection of his poetry has been translated into English as The Static Element (1982).
1452-c. 1515. Astronomer and historian. Zacuto was a professor at the university in his home town of Salamanca and then in Saragossa. He wrote his first work on astronomy (1473-8) for the bishop of Salamanca. It was written in Hebrew and translated into Spanish and Latin. His astronomical tables, vital tools for navigators, were used by COLUMBUS. On the expulsion of the Jews from Spain in 1492, Zacuto was appointed court astronomer to King John II of Portugal, serving his successor Manuel I in the same capacity. His advice was sought before Vasco da Gama's expedition to the New World and Da Gama's ships carried Zacuto's metal astrolabe, the first of its kind. When Manuel I determined to convert the Jews of Portugal by force, Zacuto fled in 1497, and after a hazardous journey reached Tunis. There in 1504 he wrote his genealogical history of the Jews from the creation until 1500. While unhistorical by modern standards, the work is of great literary importance.
1890-1967. Sculptor. The work of Russian-born Ossip Zadkine was influenced by primitive art and later in Paris by the cubist movement. His greatest work, The Destroyed City, stands in Rotterdam. It shows an agonized woman with outstretched arms warding off falling bombs, and symbolizing the ruthless aerial attack on the city by the Nazis in 1940.
1859-1917. Polish inventor of Esperanto. Zamenhof was a Polish eye specialist, and the son of a language teacher. After years of research, he published in 1887 a handbook for Esperanto, a synthetic international language with a simplified vocabulary and grammar. In 1905 he convened in Paris the first of a number of international conferences in support of the language.
1864-1926. British author and founder of the Jewish Territorial Organization. In the two decades from 1880 to 1900, the influx of immigrants from Russia swelled the Jewish population of London from 45,000 to 150,000, mostly concentrated in the East End in conditions of poverty and overcrowding. They found a chronicler of the first rank in Israel Zangwill, the London-born son of Russian immigrant parents. His novels, translated into many languages, depicted the East End life with its humour and pathos, and the perplexity of Jews moving between two