||Report on the activities and accomplishments of the second meeting of the Zionist Congress was held in Basle on Aug. 2831, 1898 by R. Marcus (Mordecai) Ehrenpreis, chief rabbi of Sofia. The second meeting of the Zionist Congress was held in Basle on Aug. 2831, 1898. That meeting began with an opening address, Herzl calling on the Zionists to "conquer the communities," a slogan which later led to the program of "work in the present," i.e., in the Diaspora, in order to deprive various assimilationists of their self-appointed role as spokesmen of the Jewish people. At this Congress the foundations were laid for the Jewish Colonial Trust and David Wolffsohn was placed in charge of implementing the project. Leo Motzkin, who had just returned from Erez Israel, presented a detailed report on the situation of both the new and the old yishuv. At the end of the volume is a page of other publications from Achiassaf with their prices and a more detailed description of two recent publications, one by L. Zunz.
R. Marcus (Mordecai) Ehrenpreis, 18691951), rabbi and author. Ehrenpreis, who was born in Lemberg where his father was a Hebrew printer, combined a traditional East European Jewish upbringing with a Western education, attending the Hochschule fuer die Wissenschaft des Judentums in Berlin as well as German universities. He officiated as rabbi in Djakovo, Croatia, from 1896 to 1900, and later became chief rabbi of Sofia, Bulgaria, and from 1914 of Stockholm. As the chief rabbi of Sofia, Ehrenpreis labored to ameliorate the condition of minorities in the Balkans, and in 1913 went on a mission to several European capitals on behalf of King Ferdinand I of Bulgaria. His contributions to the early Hebrew periodicals Ha-Maggid which first appeared in 1884 and in Ha-Shilo'ah among others make him one of the pioneers of modern Hebrew literature. At the request of Theodor Herzl he translated the invitation to the First Zionist Congress into Hebrew, personally setting the type. There, and at later Zionist congresses, Ehrenpreis acted as a consultant on cultural matters. Like Berdyczewski he criticized Ahad Ha-Am's view that Hebrew literature confine itself to Jewish themes and demanded that it fulfill all the spiritual needs of Jews living within the boundaries of European culture (Ha-Shilo'ah, no. 1, 1896/97). However, in his article Ha-Sifrut ha-Illemet ("The Silent Literature") in Ha-Shilo 'ah, 17 (1908), he expressed the view that the Hebrew literature of his generation was not capable of creating "the redeeming synthesis between Judaism and Europeanism." From then on he abandoned almost totally his interest in Hebrew literature and the Zionist movement (for which he was severely criticized by the Zionists), and devoted himself to his rabbinic and public work, writing in Swedish and other languages. He published many translations of modern Hebrew literature into Swedish; and his own essays De som byggt Israel ("The Builders of Israel," 3 vols., 192943); Landet mellam [ster och vEster ("The Country Between East and West," the journey of a Jew to Spain, 1927); [sterlandets SjEl (1926; The Soul of the East, 1928), impressions of a journey to the Middle East; and his autobiography, Mitt liv mellam [ster och vEster ("My Life Between East and West," 1946). His books were translated into several European languages and his autobiography (1953) into Hebrew. He founded the Jewish-Swedish journal Judisk Tidskrift (1928), and edited a Jewish encyclopedia in Swedish. Although first a political Zionist, he became an advocate of spiritual nationalism, believing that dispersal and assimilation were the true way of life for the Jewish people, enabling them to fulfill their spiritual mission among the nations.