Monday, 4 April 2016


HIRSH (HARRY) HERSHMAN (January 1878-January 24, 1955)
            He was born in Storozhynetz, Bukovina, into a poor family.  He received a traditional education.  He came to the United States in 1897, settled in New York, worked in a tailor’s shop there, and was active in Jewish organizations.  In 1902 he moved to Montreal, Canada, where he was one of the founders of the tailors’ union.  From his small dwelling he organized a lending library of Yiddish books, and from this developed the great Jewish Public Library of Montreal.  He was also among the founders of the Workmen’s Circle in Canada and the Y. L. Peretz School in Montreal.  He was a delegate from Canada in 1920 to the general Jewish relief conference in Prague and one of the leaders who helped to bring to Canada orphans whose parents had been killed in pogroms in Ukraine.  He was one of the pioneers of the Yiddish press in Canada, editor of Der telegraf (The telegraph) in Montreal (1905) which he alone filled out with his own writings.  He contributed poetry to Yidishes tageblat (Jewish daily newspaper) in New York, as well as Folkstsaytung (People’s newspaper), edited by Khazanovitsh, and Keneder odler (Canadian eagle), both in Montreal.  He died in Montreal.  For decades his home housed Yiddish writers both locally and from afar.

Sources: Y. Medresh, in Keneder odler (Montreal) (September 19, 1952); B. G. Zak, in Keneder odler (January 30, 1955); obituary notices in Tog-morgn zhurnal (New York) (January 25, 1955) and in Forverts (New York) (January 25, 1955); Yankev Glatshteyn, in Tog-morgn zhurnal (October 7, 1955); Biblyotek-bukh, 1914-1957 (Library book, 1914-1957) (Montreal, 1957), pp. 19-20.

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