Friday 3 July 2015


SHOYL GORDON (b. ca. 1883)
            He was born in Vilna and graduated from a Russian high school, and later studied economic science for a time at the University of Bern in Switzerland.  He was one of the first leaders of the Vilna Zionist Socialist group “Kadima” (Onward!), which selected him and Mikhl Halpern as delegates to the Sixth Zionist Congress.  He was a lecturer and speaker.  Later, he became a General Zionist.  Until 1925 he lived in Vilna where he was active in Jewish communal and cultural life.  Thereafter he moved to the Land of Israel, and for a time he managed a travel agency in Jerusalem.  In the last years before WWII, he was hired by the Anglo-Palestine Bank [later, known as Bank Leumi] and by the Mercantile Bank in Jerusalem.  He began his writing activities in the hectographically printed publication, Khronike fun der tsienistish-sotsyalistisher arbayter partey (Chronicle of the Zionist Socialist Workers’ Party) (Vilna, 1902).  He subsequently became editor of the same publication which appeared until 1905 in published journal form with editorial and literary materials.  He helped edit: Der fraynd (The friend), Tog (Day), and Idishe tsaytung (Jewish newspaper), in Vilna.  His essay, “Di poylishe okupatsye un di yidn” (The Polish occupation and the Jews) was published in Pinkes vilne (Records of Vilna) in 1922 (pp. 279-325); it described the bloody days of the Polish occupation of Vilna in 1919, the pogrom carried out by the Polish military against Vilna Jewry, the tragic death of A. Vayter, and the frightening torture of Sh. An-sky and Sh. Niger at that time.  He also described in this piece the economic and spiritual condition of Vilna Jews in the first years of the Polish regime.

Sources: M. Gutman, in Royte pinkes (Warsaw) 1 (1921), p. 166; Pinkes fun yekopo (Records of Yekopo [Yevreyskiy komitet pomoshchi zhertvam voyny—“Jewish Relief Committee for War Victims”]) (Vilna, 1930), see index; Y. Broides, Vilna hatsiyonit veaskaneha (Zionist Vilna and its workers) (Tel Aviv, 1939), see index.

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