Friday, 4 March 2016


AYZIK HURVITS (B. December 19, 1885)
            He was born in Dubosar, Kherson district, southern Russian.  He studied in religious elementary school and with private tutors.  At age six he became an orphan on his father’s side, and at age fifteen he had to go to work to help his family.  He was a member of the first Zionist group in Dubosar.  He lived in Odessa and Siberia, and he served for a year in the Russian military.  In 1907 he departed for Israel and worked on various colonies.  In early 1910 he left for Australia, worked in a factory in Melbourne, and then departed for the far west to “search for gold,” but he was unsuccessful and returned to Melbourne, became an active community leader, a director in theatrical circles, and a cofounder of the society “Kadima” (Onward).  Over the years 1912-1918, he lived in New York and Chicago, where he was active in the Socialist Party and in the Workmen’s Circle.  He later joined the Jewish Legion and fought on the war front in the land of Israel.  Thereafter he worked as a police officer in Yafo, and then he left Israel again and traveled to Nairobi, capital of Kenya, in British Africa, where he worked until 1921 in a hospital, before returning at that point to Australia.  From 1950 he was back in Israel.  He debuted in print in Hatsfira (The siren) in Warsaw (1903), with a description of the pogrom in Dubosar, and from then he contributed to: Der fraynd (The friend) in Warsaw; Shikager forverts (Chicago forward); Yudishe arbayter-velt (World of Jewish labor) in Chicago; Yudishe gazeten (Jewish gazette) in New York; Oystralishe yidishe nayes (Australian Jewish news); and Oystralyer lebn (Australian life) of which he was a cofounder.  In volume 2 of Oystralish-yidisher almanakh (Australian Jewish almanac), he published a work on the pioneer era of Jewish cultural life in Australia.  His Dos tog-bukh fun a yidishn legyoner (The diary of a Jewish legionnaire) was published in Yudishe arbayter-velt in Chicago; and Di zikhroynes fun a gold-greber (The memoirs of a gold-digger) appeared in Yudishe gazeten in New York.  Among his pseudonyms: A. Hurvits, A. H., and Balakil, among others.  He was last living in Kfar Giladi in Israel.

Source: Oystralish-yidisher almanakh, vol. 2 (Melbourne, 1942), p. 438.
Khayim Leyb Fuks

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