BENYOMEN LEVITIN (September 25, 1890-August 3, 1943)
He was born in Potshep (Pochep), Chernigov (Chernihiv) district, Ukraine. At age four he moved with parents to Lithuania. He attended religious elementary schools and yeshivas, later a Vilna trade school. In 1906 he came to the United States. He studied at a preparatory school, where his teacher of English was Hillel Rogoff. He later studied and graduated from the engineering school at Ohio State University. He was employed as an engineer in Columbus, Ohio, and in Detroit, and he was active in the American Jewish socialist movement. He left his profession in 1914 and began working as a reporter for Tog (Day) in New York. He moved to Forverts (Forward) in 1916. He wrote articles on American and world matters. Over the years 1923-1929, he was the news editor and later, until the end of his life, the theater editor of the newspaper. He was a member of the Forward Association, a leader in the Vilna Branch of the Workmen’s Circle, and a leading member of the Jewish Socialist Union. He traveled through the States on political campaign tours. He served (with Dovid Meyer, Kh. Kantorovitsh, and F. Gelibter) as a member of the editorial board of Veker (Alarm) in New York and published articles in it. He also published articles in: Tsukunft (Future), Fraynd (Friend), and Call—the latter two organs of the Workmen’s Circle. He made a trip to Soviet Russia and on his way back published in Forverts and other serial publications his estimation of Russia under the Bolshevik regime. In book form: A halber yorhundert shnayder-organizatsye, di kamfen un dergreykhungen fun di idishe aynvanderer fun mizrekh-eyrope in der mener bakleydungs industri in amerike (A half century of the tailors’ organization, the struggles and accomplishments of the Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe in the men’s clothing industry in America), “written by B. Levitin, under the editorship of Yoysef Shlosberg” (New York, 1943), 64 pp. He died in Mount Sinai Hospital in New York.
Sources: A. Litvak, in Tsukunft (New York) (March 1932); Sh. Heler, in Yorbukh fun semeteri-department fun arbeter-ring (Annual of the Cemetery Department of the Workmen’s Circle) (New York, 1944); M. Osherovitsh, in Forverts (New York) (August 5, 1943); Moyshe Shtarkman, in Hadoar (New York) (May 23, 1947); Y. Sh. Herts, Di yidishe sotsyalistishe bavegung in amerike, 70 yor sotsyalistishe tetikeyt, 30 yor yidishe sotsyalistishe farband (The Jewish socialist movement in America, seventy years of socialist activity, thirty years of the Jewish Socialist Union) (New York, 1954), see index; Who’s Who in American Jewry (1938-1939).