YOYSEF KHAYKIN (JOSEPH CHAIKIN) (February 3, 1885-June 2, 1946)
He was born in Sosnitse (Sosnytsia), Czernowitz district, Ukraine. Orphaned at a young age on his father’s side, he was raised under the supervision of his grandfather in Ekaterinoslav. He studied in religious primary schools and yeshivas. In August 1909 he moved with his mother to the United States where he became active in the socialist movement. He was later one of the founders of the Jewish National Labor Alliance and the first chairman of the Alliance’s executive (1910). He began his writing activities in 1906; he published articles, mainly on social themes, in: Der arbayter (The laborer) which appeared (1904-1911) under the editorship of Y. Shlosberg and D. Pinski, Di varhayt (The truth), Di naye post (The new mail) which was the organ of tailors’ union (1913), Di naye tsayt (The new times) which was the organ of tailors’ union (1912-1916) and edited by Yankev Epshteyn—all in New York; Di idishe velt (The Jewish world) in Philadelphia; Arbayter prese (Workers’ press); and other periodicals in America and overseas. After WWI he was a contributor to Tog (Day) in New York, in which he at various times was news editor and managerial editor, and he wrote articles on American politics and the economy and the Jewish labor movement and its problems. He published a series of articles in Fraye arbeter-shtime (Free voice of labor) in New York, contributed to Unzer bukh (Our book) which was edited by Y. Libman (Isaac Leibman), and edited Naye yontef bleter (New holiday sheets) (New York, 1933). On several occasions he traveled through the United States and several Latin American countries and gave public lectures on social topics. In 1936 he visited the Soviet Union, Birobidzhan, China, Japan, and Israel. In book form: Yidishe bleter in amerike, a tsushteyer tsu der 75-yoriker geshikhte fun der yidisher prese in di fareynikte shtatn un kanade (Yiddish letters in America, a contribution to the seventy-five year history of the Yiddish press in the United States and Canada) (New York: self-publ., 1946), 424 pp. This volume embraced the era 1870-1945. “My intention,” he wrote in the preface (p. 7), “was to create an image of Yiddish newspapers in America which would be as close to reality as is humanly possible.” In his book, he offered a gallery of publishers, editors, writers, community leaders, agents for publishing institutions, community organizations, and movements, which established Yiddish newspapers and trade magazines in America. On the evening that the family of this New York Yiddish writer had set to celebrate the publication of this work, Khaykin died of a heart attack in a New York hospital.
Sources: Biblyografishe yorbikher fun yivo (Bibliographic yearbooks from YIVO), vol. 1 (Warsaw, 1928), see index; Dr. A. Mukdoni, in Morgn-zhurnal (New York) (April 26, 1933); Moyshe Shtarkman, in Tog (New York) (June 3, 1946); Shtarkman, in Hadoar (New York) (May 23, 1947); Fanny and Max Shparber, in Fraye arbeter-shtime (New York) (July 5, 1946); N. B. Linder, in Tog (June 9, 1946); A. Beyzer, in Fraye arbeter-shtime (October 25, 1946); L. Shpizman, in Geshikhte fun der tsienistisher arbeter-bavegung fun tsofn-amerike (History of the Zionist labor movement in North America), vols. 1 and 2 (New York, 1955), see index; obituary notices in the Yiddish press.