ZELIG TIGEL (TYGEL) (July 30, 1890-March 12, 1947)
He was born in Warsaw, Poland. He studied in religious primary school and yeshiva, later becoming a boot-stitcher who devoted his free time to self-study. From 1912 he was living in Paris. Over the years 1915-1918, he was a free auditor in Warsaw University. He was a cofounder of the Tseire-Tsiyon (Young Zionist) party and of the Zionist artisan association in Poland. In late 1919 he came to the United States and lived in New York and Chicago. He was a cofounder of the American Association of Polish Jews and for many years its executive secretary. He served as secretary general of Tseire-Tsiyon in America and was a member of the administrative committee of the American Jewish Congress. He began his writing activities as a standing reporter for Di naye tsayt (The new times), edited by M. Spektor, in Warsaw (1910), later a contributor to such Warsaw newspapers as: Unzer lebn (Our life) and in 1912 its Parisian correspondent; Haynt (Today), in which among other items he published his series of articles entitled “Di geshikhte fun varshever forshtet” (The history of Warsaw suburbs); Der moment (The moment), for which he was for a time its American correspondent; Varshever tageblat (Warsaw daily newspaper), edited by H. D. Nomberg; and also cofounder of Lodzer tageblat (Lodz daily newspaper), Folksblat (People’s newspaper) in Lodz, and the Polish Jewish Nasz Kurier (Our courier) and Kurier poranny (Morning courier) in Warsaw. He also placed work in: Di yidishe vokh (The Jewish week), edited by Y. Heftman; Ilustrirte velt (Illustrated world); Hatsfira (The times); Hatsfira leyeladim (The times for children); Hashaḥar (The dawn); and Ben shaḥar (Son of dawn); among others—all in Warsaw. In America he was a contributor to: Herman Bernshteyn’s Haynt (Today), Yidishes tageblat (Jewish daily newspaper), Der tog (The day), Di tsayt (The times), and Morgn-zhurnal (Morning journal)—in New York; Keneder odler (Canadian eagle) in Montreal; Der idisher zhurnal (The Jewish journal) in Toronto; Idisher kuryer (Jewish courier) in Chicago; Di idishe velt (The Jewish world) in Philadelphia; Kalifornyer idishe shtime (Jewish voice of California); Der idisher rekord (The Jewish record) in St. Louis; Der veg (The way) in Mexico City; and in the Yiddish press of other countries, in which he published articles, poems, stories, and biographies of Jewish personalities. He edited: the first three issues of the weekly newspaper Der handverker (The artisan) in Warsaw (1917); Nyu dzhoyzer shtern (New Jersey star), a weekly, in Paterson (1920-1925); Atlantik (Atlantic), a periodical, in Atlantic City (1920), several issues; Farn folk (For the people) in New York; with L. Kusman and M. Rudenski, Der farband (The union), a monthly, in New York (1924-1937), eighty issues; Der poylisher id (The Polish Jew), an annual, in New York (1932-1944), which until 1941 appeared under the title Poylishe idn (Polish Jews); and the anthology Mogilover amerikaner briderlekher ferayn (The Mogilov American Fraternal association) (Chicago, 1926); among other items. In book form: Zelbst lere der rekhenkunst (The art of calculation self-taught), an arithmetic textbook, part 1 (Paris, 1912), 24 pp.; Geshikhte fun yidishe shnayder, zeyer antviklung un organizirung (The history of Jewish tailors, their development and organization) (Warsaw, 1912), 32 pp.; Di varshever yudishe gemine (The Warsaw Jewish community) (Warsaw, 1918), 76 pp.; Shakhrus (Prime of life), stories for children (Warsaw, 1920), 12 pp.; Geshtaltn (figures), including Sh. A. Poznanski, L. Zamenhof, Dr. Chaim Weizmann, Y. Grinboym, Dr. Noyekh Davidzon, Y. L. Perets, Janusz Korczak, E. N. Frenk, Dr. Gershon Levin, M. Benson, and Haym Salomon (New York, 1928), 195 pp.; Fun di kvorim, akht briv fun mayn tatn (From the graves, eight letters from my father) (New York, 1946), 32 pp. In English he wrote: Haym Salomon, His Life and Work: The Polish Jew Who Helped America Win the War for Independence (New York, 1925), 8 pp.; Palestine Today (New York, 1937), 28 pp.; Let’s Talk It Over, Present-Day Jewish Problems (New York, 1939), 100 pp., with a foreword by Charles Russell. He died in New York. He left behind in manuscript numerous children’s stories, “Di geshikhte fun 16 yor farband fun poylishe yidn” (The history of the sixteen-year Association of Polish Jews), and a monograph concerning Haym Salomon—incomplete.
Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 1; P. Vyernik, in Morgn-zhurnal (New York) (February 26, 1933); Y. Glants, in Der veg (Mexico City) (September 11, 1937); Y. Gertler, in Der veg (June 7, 1947); Moyshe Shtarkman, in Hadoar (New York) (Sivan 5 [May 24], 1947), p. 864; obituary notices in Tog, Forverts, and Morgn-zhurnal (all New York) (March 14, 1947); materials from his archive in YIVO (New York); Universal Jewish Encyclopedia (New York), p. 330.
Khayim Leyb Fuks