Tuesday 10 June 2014


Born in Torne (Tarnow), Galicia.  His father, an iron merchant, was a scholar and a Santser Hassid.  His mother was the daughter of the cantor of the city of Yaroslav.  He studied in religious school and with the rabbi of Barnov.  He receoived his general education in the Baron Hirsch School and in the Torne high school.  As a student he was active in Labor Zionist movement.  Together with Yitschok Shiper, he organized a strike of tailors, clerks, and the assistant teachers in elementary religious schools (the first strike, incidentally, undertaken by assistant teachers and it was successful). In 1909 he left for Palestine, and there he worked on the land in the Merhavia colony.  In 1911 he lived in Egypt.  In 1913 he made his way to the United States, living in Cleveland, Ohio, as well as in New York.  He worked in a restaurant and in an iron factory.  He then left for Chicago where he studied at the McCormick Theological Seminary and Johns Hopkins University, and he received a doctorate from Gettysburg College in Pennsylvania.  From 1920 he was living in Baltimore, Maryland.  Although he never officially converted, he was in charge of the Lutheran Hebrew Mission.  He began his literary activity as the Torne correspondent for the Labor Zionist organ, Der yidisher arbeter (The Jewish laborer), edited by Leon Khazanovitsh and Zerubabel, during the years 1908-1909.  From 1915 he published missionary serials, books, and pamphlets in Hebrew, Yiddish, Polish, Russian, and English.  He translated the New Testament into Yiddish as Bris khadoshe (Baltimore, Maryland, 1941), 590 pp.  On his own, he mastered how to compose type, and his editions were printed in correct modern Yiddish.

Sources: Melech Ravitch, in Der veg (Mexico) (September 2, 1943); Sh. Saymon, in Tsukunft (New York) (November 1951).

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