Monday 17 November 2014


YOYSEF BARATS (JOSEPH BARATZ) (May 6, 1890-December 14, 1968)
     Born in Koshenitsa (Kosnitzya), Ukraine.  He attended religious elementary school and a public school.  He worked in a business in Kishinev, where he supported the “Tseire Tsiyon” (Youth Zionists).  From 1907 forward, he was living in Palestine.  He worked at first as a field worker, as well as a stone carver in Petach Tikvah, before becoming a settler in [the kibbutz of] Degania.  He was a delegate to Zionist congresses, a member of Zionist action committee, a deputy to the first Knesset, as well as a leading friend of Histadrut and Ichud ha-kvutzot veha-kibutzim (Unity of the Kibbutz movement).  He was the chair of the “Lema’an hachayal” (Association for the well-being of Israel soldiers) and secretary of Degania Alef.  He visited numerous Jewish settlements as an emissary for various Zionist authorities.  During WWII, while he was active in the Jewish Brigade in Italy, he was one of the leaders of the illegal aliya movement, which dispatched ships with rescued Jews to Palestine.  He started publishing in Hebrew in the journal Ha-poel ha-tsair (The young worker), and from then on he published articles in Hebrew-language magazines and anthologies on general Zionist and colonization themes.  In Yiddish, he published in: Dos fraye vort (The free word) in Baranovitsh (Baranowicze), Poland; Unzer vort (Our word) in Warsaw; Unzer tsayt (Our time) in Argentina; Dos naye vort (The new word) in Lithuania; Dos vort (The word) in Paris; Tsukunft (Future), Di tsayt (The times), Der tog (The day), Forverts (Forward), Dos yidishe folk (The Jewish people), Der yidisher kemfer (The Jewish fighter), Geverkshaft-kampeyn-tsaytung (Union campaign news), Histadrut yorbukh (Histadrut annual), Morgn-zhurnal (Morning journal), Farn folk (For the people), and Di pyonern-froy (The pioneer woman) in New York; and Kalifornyer yidishe shtime (California Jewish voice), among others.  His booklets include: Kamf un oyfboy (Struggle and construction) (Tel Aviv, 1938), 62 pp.  A number of Baratz’s articles were translated into English, German, and Polish.  He was also the author of a book in English (translated from Russian): A Village by the Jordan.  He died in Kibbutz Degania.

Sources: Divrei Yosef barats (670-710), reshimah bibliyografit (The writings of Joseph Baratz, 1910-1950, bibliographic listing), compiled by Baruch Shochetman (Tel Aviv, 1950), 24 pp. (with 284 entries); D. Tidhar, Entsiklopedyah lealutse hayishuv uvonav (Encyclopedia of the founders and builders of Israel) (Tel Aviv, 1947-1971), vol. 3, p. 1402; Who’s Who in Israel (1952).

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