Thursday 15 January 2015


AVROM BIZNO (ABRAHAM BISNO) (October 1867-December 2, 1929)
He was born in a rural area in Belaya Tserkov (Bila Tserkva), Kiev region, into a family of poor craftsmen.  In 1881 after the Kiev pogrom, they emigrated to the United States.  Together with his family, he worked in a tailor’s shop in Chicago, where from 1885 he became a prominent figure in the American labor movement.  He was a founder and the first president of the first Jewish union in Chicago, in 1890—the Chicago “Cloakmakers Union.”  He accomplished much for labor legislation in the state of Illinois, and he was appointed by the government as the first factory inspector against the sweatshop system.  In 1911 he published in the Ladies Garment Worker a work entitled “The First Jewish Union in Chicago.”  He also wrote articles on labor issues for such Yiddish- and English-language newspapers as Yidishe arbeter-velt (Jewish world of labor) in Chicago, Forverts (Forward), Tog (Day), Tsukunft (Future), Yorbukh fun der yidisher sotsyalistisher federatsye (Yearbook of the Jewish socialist federation), and Frayhayt (Freedom).  In his last years he was a businessman.

Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 1; Geshikhte fun der yidisher arbeter bavegung in di fareynikte shtatn (History of the Jewish labor movement in the United States), vol. 1 (New York, 1945), pp. 400-3, vol. 2, pp. 363-64; Dr. B. Hofman, Fuftsig yor kloukmakher-yunyon (Fifty years of the Cloakmakers Union) (New York, 1936), see index.  In 1938 his daughter, Beatrice Bizno, published Tomorrow’s Bread (Philadelphia, 1938), which depicts her father in a literary manner.

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