Thursday 6 November 2014


NOYEKH (NOAH) BAS (1874-June 24, 1941)
Born in a village near Vasilishok, Lida district, into a tenant farmer family.  At age thirteen, following the death of his father, he went on foot to Grodno to study there in the yeshiva.  Thereafter he became involved in revolutionary circles, and later he joined the Chibat-Tsiyon (Love of Zion) movement, Labor Zionist circles, and the General Zionists.  He took part in several Zionist Congresses and became one of the most important persons and Zionist leaders there.  He made his living as an agent for Yiddish and Hebrew newspapers and magazines.  He published a Yiddish pamphlet concerned with the importance of donating the Zionist shekel and frequently participated with articles in Yiddish and Hebrew periodicals.  He was a close friend of Leyb Naydus, the poet, whom he helped get his work published.  Prior to WWI, he founded the first “cheder metukan” (improved religious elementary school), and helped to found the “Grodno courses” of Dr. Kohnshtam, later the Tarbut school network.  He was for a long time a member of the Grodno Jewish community council and the municipal government.  On June 20, 1941, the Soviet army deported him and his wife Elke, a teacher in the Tsisho (Central Jewish School Organization) schools, and hundreds of others as “hostile elements.”  On June 24, when their train was near Baranovichi, a Nazi airplane dropped bombs on it, and they were killed.  His books include: Der shekel (The shekel), funded by L. Epel (Vilna, 1903), 15 pp.; Der shekel, published by Yosef Luria and partners (St. Petersburg, 1911), 16 pp.

Sources: Noach Bas (Tel Aviv, 1946); Khone Garber, in Grodner opklangen 2 (Buenos Aires) (1948); Mikhl Hakohen, Grodner opklangen 5-6 (1951); Yediot vaad ole gerodna 2 (Tel Aviv) (February 13, 1946).

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