LEYZER MELTSER (February 15, 1889-October 22, 1971)
He was born in Minsk, Byelorussia. His journalistic activities began in 1904 in the Russian-language press in Minsk, where he also edited a Zionist socialist publication entitled Der yunger yudisher arbayter (The young Jewish worker). He later contributed to the Zionist Socialist organ, Der nayer veg (The new way), also using such pen names as Lazarovitsh and Ben-Yankev, among others. In 1906 he arrived in the United States. He lived in New York for a time before moving to Montreal, Canada, where he worked as a teacher and principal in the Labor Zionist schools and administrator of the Montreal Labor Zionist weekly Folks-tsaytung (People’s newspaper). Over the years 1919-1924, he wrote for and served as editor of Keneder odler (Canadian eagle) in Montreal. He was editor, 1919-1923, of the monthly periodical Der yudisher arbayter (The Jewish worker), published by the Montreal Workmen’s Circle, as well as the periodical Arbayt (Labor), “published in the interests of Jewish laborers”—twelve issues appeared in print. He was later living in Newark, New Jersey, where he was editor of the local edition of New York’s Forverts (Forward). In 1928 he published for school children a series of biographies of Sholem-Aleykhem, Y. L. Perets, N. Syrkin, A. Lyesin, Vl. Medem, and B. Borokhov, among others. He was editor, 1936-1942, of the Los Angeles division of Forverts. Over successive years he was involved with activities of Histadrut, later with the Jewish National Fund, and edited for the latter a bulletin in Yiddish and English. He also placed articles in Labor Zionist publications, such as Unzer shul (Our school). In 1962 he visited the state of Israel. He died in Los Angeles, California.
Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 2; 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; Sh. Byalis, in Idisher kemfer (New York) (February 7, 1964).