Thursday 20 November 2014


NOYEKH (NOAH) BARU (November 23, 1889-September 5, 1955)
Born in Poltava, Ukraine.  His parents, Yitskhok and Berte, bore the family name Briker.  Several weeks after his birth, his mother died, and he was raised by his grandparents.  He received a traditional Jewish education, graduating from a high school with a gold medal.  At age fifteen, he was a member of the Jewish self-defense and illegal Poale-Tsiyon movement.  In 1908 he was studying in Kiev University and was secretary of the student union.  He was arrested in 1910 and exiled to Siberia.  In 1912 he left Russia and studied in Heidelberg and Leipzig.  Following the amnesty of 1913, he returned to Russia and completed his studies.  In 1914 he became general secretary of Poale-Tsiyon in Russia.  Over the years 1915-1917, he was general secretary of Jewish aid organizations.  In 1917 he organized the Poale-Tsiyon conference in Kiev.  Together with Ber Borochov, he was delegate from Poale-Tsiyon to the congress of minority peoples.  In 1922 he left Russia and lived for a time in Belgium.  The following year he received a doctorate of philosophy from the University of London, and in 1925 he settled in London and was one of the founders of the British section of the World Jewish Congress.  After WWII, he did much to improve the fate of the survivors in the camps.  He was the director of the European Executive of the World Jewish Congress.  He published sixteen books concerned with economy, sociology, and cooperative movements.  In Yiddish, he published: Di yidn in arbet un baruf (Jews in labor and the professions), which dealt with the economic and professional structure of the Jewish people after WWII (London, 1946).

Sources: Yoysef Frenkel, “Dr. noyekh baru, der yid fun poltave” (Dr. Noah Baru, the Jew from Poltava), Di yidishe shtime (London) (February 4, 1955); Who Is Who in World Jewry (1955).

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