||Pohatchevsky Michal Zalman
Michel Zalman Pohachevsky was born in Brisk, Lithuania. He studied in the first "heder metukan" and took additional studies in Jewish and secular studies with private teachers. From an early age he was active in the "Hovevei Zion" (Lovers of Zion) movement.
He was one of the six young men chosen by the heads of Hovevei Zion in Russia, at the Baron Rothschild's initiative, to specialize in agriculture in Eretz Israel so that they could instruct the future new immigrants. He immigrated to Eretz Israel together with them in 1885. He studied and worked in agriculture in Zichron Yaakov, Rosh Pina, and Yesud Hamaalah, trained by the Baron's French gardeners and agronomists.
Michel Zalman specialized in all branches of agriculture and planting and was sent to instruct in Rishon Le-Zion. Here he set up his home and farmstead and from here, in his capacity as the Baron's gardener and clerk, was sent to fulfill different duties around the country: to examine the land and determine the planting crops in the Galilee; to supervise the beginning of the settlement of Beer Tuvia on behalf of Hovevei Zion; to manage the building of the School for Girls in Neveh Zedek in Jaffa and the building of the Community Hall in Rehovot. In Rehovot he taught the settlers how to plant vineyards and orange groves. He was a member of the committee which evaluated the "Menuha and Nahala" vineyards before the lottery (for land plots). Later, he continued volunteering to help on matters of agriculture and planting to all who requested assistance: instructed and trained in Kiryat Anavim in its early years; assisted in the development of plantations in the farms of Emek Israel; chose the appropriate land for the vineyards in Tel Yosef; taught the young winegrowers in Kfar Yehezkel to recognize the different types of vines; in Degania A' he taught how to graft olives, in Degania B', how to irrigate and in Nahalal, how to prune them; in Ein Harod he taught how to protect the vines from the winds of the Gilboa mountain and returned to Degania A' to teach how to implant the vine roots in Emek Hayarden.
After WWI he participated in the committee appointed by Keren Kayemet L'Israel to evaluate all the farmsteads and plantations in the country and he was one of the four committee members who signed the report. Later, as a specialist on agricultural matters, he participated in numerous governmental committees.
In Rishon Le-Zion, aside from his work as farmer on his own lands, he was also active in public affairs. From his beginning in Rishon Le-Zion, aside from his agricultural instruction, he gave lessons to the settlers in the history and geography of Eretz Israel. While still employed as the Barons' gardener, he was appointed supervisor of the planting of the "Gan Hamoshava" (Village Park) and together with Gershon Horowitz, planted the Avenue of the Palms in the park.
In 1896 he retired from the Baron's administration and was one of the first farmers in the village to pay the first payment of the Baron's loan for the vineyard given to him. He was a member of the school's committee and a member of the Village Committee. He was a signatory on the original charter for the establishment of the Rothschild Museum. He was among the founders of the village's Kupah Haklait (Farmers' Fund).
In preparation for the setting up of the first playground, he volunteered to prepare the plans and attend to the playground's execution.
He also engaged in writing: for twenty-five years he published articles on agriculture in several journals: "Ha'ikar", "Ha'chaklai", "Ha'sadeh" and "Sefer Ha'shana". As well, he wrote a series of memoires named "Ha'rishonim" which was published in "Bustenai" in 31 editions. By request, his article in "Ha'sadeh" was sent to the International Bibliographic Institute in Rome and an abstract was translated.