Tuesday 3 March 2015


YITSKHOK BENEKVIT (July 31, 1866-April 10, 1934)

He was born in Belaya Tserkov (Bila Tserkva), Ukraine, to pious, well-to-do parents.  He attended religious elementary school and in a Russian high school, studying law.  From January 1888, he was in the United States; he lived in a variety of cities.  He was a worker, a teacher, an actor, a union leader, a representative of “the Jewish unions,” one of the founders of HIAS (Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society), a member of the Russian Socialist Revolutionaries, a member of the anarchist group “Pioneer of Freedom,” and a member of the anarchist branch of the Workmen’s Circle.  In 1926 he was in Europe and in 1928 in Russia.  He began writing in Russian; later, he became a contributor to Fraye arbeter shtime (Free voice of labor) in which he published articles about timely political issues, foremost among them concerning Russia.  He also published notices of his trip through Europe, which appeared in his translation into English as well.  He was the author of two volumes of memoirs: Durkhgelebt un durkhgetrakht: erinerungen, epizodn un bilder fun der alter heym (Lived through and thought through: experiences, episodes, and impression from the old country), vol. 1 (New York, 1934), 388 pp.; vol. 2, subtitled erinerungen, epizodn un bilder fun der nayer heym (experiences, episodes, and impression from the new country) (New York, 1934), 413 pp.

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