AB. (AVROM, ABRAHAM) GOLDBERG (February 3, 1883-June 5, 1942)
He was born in Yarmolinets, Podolia. His father, Nokhum Lishitsman, died early, and he was raised by his stepfather (surname: Goldberg), a scholar and Hassid who would take him along to visit his rebbe. Until age thirteen he studied Talmud and the commentators, and later he surreptitiously began to study Russian, read Hebrew and Yiddish books, and he was thus compelled to leave the family home. At age sixteen he traveled to Berdichev where he supported himself giving lessons. In 1901 he moved on to Czernowitz and from there to New York where for a certain period of time he worked in a sweatshop and later also delivered newspapers. At the same time he studied law (for three years) at New York University and gave lessons in English. He was among the first members of the Socialist Territorialist Party, later becoming a member (1903) of the Poale-Tsiyon Party in the United States. He was subsequently president of the Zionist Organization in America, director of the Land of Israel department, and a member of the action committee and of the American Jewish Congress. He also chaired the Zionist Labor Federation. He traveled across Europe, Israel, and the Americas several times. He served as a delegate to Zionist Congresses and other Jewish conferences.
Goldberg wrote in Yiddish, Hebrew, and English. He published poems, sketches, critical essays, and feature pieces. He began writing in Yiddish in 1903 for Fraye arbeter shtime (Free voice of labor) in New York. He later published in: the Territorialist weekly Dos folk (The people), Varheyt (Truth), Yidishes tageblat (Jewish daily newspaper), Morgn-zhurnal (Morning journal), and Amerikaner (American), among others. He served on the editorial board of Dr. Nokhum Sirkin’s monthly Dos folk and was the editor of the official organ of the Zionist Organization in America, Dos yidishe folk (The Jewish people). He also edited: Yubileum-oysgabe dos idishe folk (Jubilee publication of Dos yidishe folk) (New York, 1915), 160 pp.; Tsienistish-literaturishes zaml-bukh (Zionist literary anthology) (New York, 1915), 64 pp.; Vardi-yoelit teater, studyo bletlekh (Vardi Yoelit Theater, studio pages) 1 (1929); Poylisher yid (Polish Jew), “Yearbook in honor of the convention of the American Federation of Polish Jews” (New York, 1940, 1941, 1942). Among his own books and brochures: Gezamlte shriftn (Selected writings), “first volume, compositions and author” (New York, 1913), 253 pp.; Der idisher kongres (The Jewish congress) (New York, 1915), 16 pp.; Tsienistishe redes (Zionist speeches) (New York, 1916), 103 pp.; Hebreizm un idishizm (Hebreism and Yiddishism) (New York, 1918), 31 pp.; Grenetsn, eseys (Boundaries, essays) (New York, 1924), 300 pp.; Fuftsen yor tsienizm (Fifty years of Zionism) (New York, n.d.), 32 pp.; Nokhum sokolov, zayn biografye un kharakteristik (Nahum Sokolov, his biography and characteristics) (Warsaw, 1912), 32 pp.; A yudenshtat in a teyl fun erets-yirsroel (A Jewish state in a part of Palestine) (New York, n.d.), 18 pp.; Unzer tsayt kumt (Our time has come) (New York, 1941), 263 pp.; Der gaystike tsenter in poyln un der nayer gaystiker tsenter in amerike (The spiritual center in Poland and the new spiritual center in America) (New York, 1941), 80 pp. In Hebrew he published in Hashiloaḥ (The shiloah), Hazman (The times), and Haolam (The world). He was the editor of Hatoren (The mast). He published three volumes of Hebrew-language writings and a book in English concerning Yiddish and Hebrew works, entitled Pioneers and Builders: Biographical Studies and Essays (New York, 1943), 469 pp. On his fiftieth birthday, there appeared in print: Sefer hayovel (Jubilee volume) in Yiddish, Hebrew, and English (New York, 1934), 127 pp. After his death, a Hebrew volume, Sefer avraham goldberg (The book of Avrom Goldberg) (New York, 1945), 221 pp. He died in New York.