Monday 11 August 2014


SHNEUR-ZALMAN OSIPOV (b. February 22, 1883)
Born in Lyadi, Mohilev (Mogilev) province, Russia.  His father Nokhum was a teacher of Talmud and, for a time, a sexton for the Hassidic rebbe Dov Ber Shneerson.  He studied in religious schools and in the Lubavitsh yeshiva.  At age sixteen he became a craftsman, joined the revolutionary movement, and was active in the Bund in Smolensk.  He was arrested in 1903.  Upon his release he left Russia and emigrated to London.  There he became active, from 1903 to 1906, in social democratic circles.  He helped to publish Di naye tsayt (New times) (London, 1906).  From May 1906 he was in the United States.  He was an active leader in the Workman’s Circle, a cofounder of the Workman’s Circle of Massachusetts (which later became the center of the Independent Workmen’s Circle) and of the group ARK (Arbeter-ring-klub, Workmen’s Circle Club) which worked to renew celebrations of Jewish holidays.  ARK was one of the first groups to hold a third seder and prepared a new kind of Haggadah.  Osipov was the author of Mayn lebn, derinerungen un iberlebungen fun a yidishn sotsyalist (My life, memoirs and experiences of a Jewish socialist) (Boston, 1954), 263 pp.  In this book are occasional poems, essays, and speeches that elucidate the attitude of ARK toward various problems in Jewish life.  He compiled with M. Tuvyash the collection Tsurik tsum shoyresh, a fertl yorhundert “ark” (Back to roots, a quarter century of “ARK”), with articles and appraisals of various authors (Boston, 1948), 128 pp.

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