||Nahum Slousch (1871–1966), scholar and writer, archaeologist and historian, traveler and translator. Born in Smorgan near Vilna, son of David Solomon Slouschz, rabbi, maskil, and early Zionist, Slouschz was taken as a child to Odessa. Odessa became the center of the Hovevei Zion movement and of the Hebrew renascence, and Slouschz took an active part in those political and cultural activities. He sided with Ahad Ha-Am's critics and early became a political as well as a practical Zionist. He wrote on a variety of subjects for the Hebrew press both in Russia and in Erez Israel, and for a time edited a Russian-Jewish paper, Odesskaya Gazeta (1897).
He visited Erez Israel for a year in 1891 on behalf of the Odessa Palestine committee with a view of establishing a new settlement, then returned for a year in 1896. Slouschz then went to Geneva, where he studied classical and French literature. Here too he was active as a Zionist and was among the founders of the Swiss Zionist Federation. He was an early follower of Herzl, but in the wake of the Uganda affair he joined for a time the Jewish Territorial Organization, investigating the possibilities of Jewish settlement of Tripoli-Cyrenaica, which he visited (see his confidential report, translated by P. H. Magnus, 1907).
From Geneva Slouschz proceeded to Paris to study Semitics at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes and French literature at the Sorbonne. In 1904 Slouschz was appointed to a newly founded chair of Hebrew language and literature at the Sorbonne. He also taught (1903–18) at the Ecole Normale Orientale of the Alliance IsraMlite Universelle. Between 1906 and 1914 he undertook a series of exploratory journeys on behalf of the AcadMmie des Inscriptions et Belles Lettres to North Africa, where he studied Phoenician and Greek inscriptions, and also the life and history of the Jewish communities of the region. The results were published under various titles. He described his travels in a number of books: Massa be-Mizrayim (1907); Voyages d'Mtudes juives en Afrique (1909); Be-Iyyei ha-Yam (1919); Travels in North Africa (1927; also as Jews of North Africa, 1944); Sefer ha-Massa'ot (2 vols., 1942–43). He wrote too on the Jews of Djerba (Ha-I Palya, 1957; Ha-Kohanim Asher be-Jerba, 1924); on an ancient Jewish queen in the Atlas Mountains (Dahiyah al-Kahina, 1934, 1953) and on the Marranos of Portugal (Ha-Anusim be-Portugal, 1932).
During World War I Slouschz was involved in activities to influence the French government in agreeing to the Balfour Declaration, and he visited the United States in the same cause. While in New York he contributed to the Hebrew and Yiddish press, and acted as editor of the Jewish Morning Journal. In 1919 Slouschz settled in Erez Israel, where he revived the Palestine Exploration Society and edited its publications. He conducted excavations at Tiberias, where he discovered the ancient second-century synagogue of Hammath (mentioned in the Talmud), including a beautiful stone menorah (Ha-Hafirot be-Hammat shel Teveryah, 1921). He also excavated at Absalom's Tomb in Jerusalem and began to excavate in Transjordan (Ever ha-Yarden, 2 vols., 1933).