Monday 17 November 2014


YOYSEF BARONDES (JOSEPH BARONDESS) (July 3, 1867-June 19, 1928)
Born in Kamenets-Podolsk (Kamianets-Podilskyi), Ukraine, into a Hassidic family, he was brought up in the village of Bar where he attended religious elementary school and synagogue study house.  In 1888 he emigrated to the United States, where he was for a time a peddler and a tailor.  Ideologically, he was a social democrat, a builder of unions, an organizer, and an orator.  In general, he played a noteworthy role in the American Jewish labor movement.  He was one of the creators of the actors’ union.  For a short time, he was incarcerated for helping workers organize themselves.  He was also a leader of the first cloak makers’ strike in 1889-1890; a cofounder of Arbeter-tsaytung (Workers newspaper), Tsukunft (Future), and Forverts (Forward).  Later, he was a leading figure in the Zionist movement, president of the order of “Bnei Tsiyon” (Sons of Zion), and active in numerous Jewish organizations, among them: HIAS [Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society].  He published articles in Forverts, and he founded Baltimorer fraye prese (Baltimore free press).  He wrote his memoirs (the manuscript is in the theater museum of the YIVO archives of Yiddish theater and drama, edited by Dr. Jacob Shatsky, New York, 1930).  He translated into Yiddish and added an introduction to: Der yidisher president deyvid izraels (The Jewish President David Israels) by Frank Barkley Copley (New York: Literaturisher farlag, 1916), 71 pp.  He was an especially well-known figure from the East Side of New York of old.

Sources: M. Kats, in Zamlbukh (Anthology) (Philadelphia, March 1925); B. Vaynshteyn, Yidishe yunyons in amerike (Jewish unions in America) (New York, 1929); Who’s Who in American Jewry (1928); Z. Zilbertsvayg, Teater-leksikon, vol. 1; Dr. B. Hofman, Fuftsik yor kloukmakher-yunyon (Fifty years of the cloak makers’ union)  (New York, 1936); Joseph Chaikin, Yidishe bleter in amerike (Yiddish newspapers in America) (New York, 1946); Geshikhte fun der yidisher arbeter-bavegung (History of the Jewish labor movement), vol. 1 (New York: YIVO, 1945); Y. Sh. Herts, Di yidishe sotsyalistishe bavegung in amerike (The Jewish socialist movement in America) (New York, 1954); L. Kobrin, Mayne fuftsik yor in amerike (My fifty years in America) (Buenos Aires, 1955), pp. 329-34.

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