MAKS PAYN (MAX PINE) (April 30, 1866-March 2, 1928)
His Jewish given name was Mendl, and he was born in Libavitsh (Lyubavichi), Mohilev Province, Byelorussia. He was orphaned on his father’s side at age three. At age nine, his mother sent him to Velitsh, and there he was apprenticed to a printer. After many years of wandering, he arrived in the United States in 1888. There he worked unloading coal, later in tailoring and printing. In 1897 he was one of the founders of the Forverts (Forward). In 1911 he helped organize tailors and led the famous tailors’ strike of December 30, 1912 (a strike involving 100,000 workers). After WWI he was active in relief work for Jewish victims of war and pogroms. He was one of the founders of the People’s Relief Committee, one of the three delegates sent by the Joint Distribution Committee to provide relief work in Russia, and he assisted in the establishment of Yidgezkom (Jewish Social Committee [for the Relief of Victims of War, Pogroms, and Natural Disasters]). He was a candidate on many occasions on the Socialist slate. He was secretary of the united Jewish unions and among the principal founders and chairman of Union Campaign for the Histadruth in the land of Israel. For two terms (1922-1924) he served on the national executive committee of the Workmen’s Circle. He exhibited a huge interest in Yiddish theater. His journalist activities were mainly confined to Forverts, for which he served as editor for a certain period of time. He influenced the Jewish trade union movement in the United States to take a positive stance toward Jewish workers in Israel. He died in New York.
Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 2; Zalmen Zilbertsvayg, Leksikon fun yidishn teater (Handbook of the Yiddish theater), vol. 2 (New York, 1934); L. Fogelman, in Forverts (New York) (March 4, 1928); Rumshinski-bukh (Rumshinsky volume) (New York, 1931), pp. 60-61; 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; Sh. Vays, in Algemeyne entsiklopedye (General encyclopedia), vol. 5 (New York, 1957), p. 279; H. Lang, in Forverts (May 24, 1960); Arbeter-ring boyer un tuer (Builders and leaders of the Workmen’s Circle), ed. Y. Yeshurin and Y. Sh. Herts (New York, 1962), pp. 298-99.