MOSHE FEDERMAN-SOFER (MOYSHE FEDERMAN-SOYFER) (b. March 1, 1890)
He was born in Jerusalem. He was the son of the scribe [H. sofer], Rabbi Avraham Sofer. Until age seventeen he studied in yeshivas, and he later became a laborer aboard a ship. From the years of his youth he was active in the Zionist labor movement, mainly among the left Labor Zionists. He lived in India and Australia for periods of time; between 1911 and 1914 he was in Argentina, and from there he returned to the land of the Israel. During the years of WWI, he was driven out of Israel by the Turks and until 1916 lived in Egypt. Later, until 1935, he lived in Tel Aviv. He was a cofounder of the League of Laboring Israel and its representative for South America. From late 1935 he was back in Jerusalem. He debuted in print with reportage pieces on the lives of the Bene Yisrael in India in Der tog (The day) and elsewhere. He later wrote articles, reportage, descriptions of old Jerusalem, and correspondence pieces from Israel for: Di prese (The press), Yidishe tsaytung (Jewish newspaper), and the weekly Unzer tsayt (Our times) of which he was also co-editor (1932-1935), among others, in Buenos Aires; Arbeter tsaytung (Workers’ newspaper) in Warsaw; and Nay velt (new world) in Tel Aviv). He also placed work in the Hebrew-language newspapers: Davar (Word), Hege (Helm), Mishmar (Guardian), Bamaala (On the rise), and Davar hashavua (Word of the week), among others, in the state of Israel. He was a standing contributor to Folksblat (People’s newspaper) in Tel Aviv. He wrote under such pen names as: Federman, Federman-Sofer, and Sofer-Federman. He was last living in Jerusalem, an official for the Jewish Agency.
Sources: D. Tidhar, in Entsiklopedyah leḥalutse hayishuv uvonav (Encyclopedia of the pioneers and builders of the yishuv), vol. 3 (Tel Aviv, 1949), pp. 1884-85; Unzer veg (Toronto-New York) (August-September 1962).
Khayim Leyb Fuks