MOISEY GUREVITSH (1874-November 9, 1944)
He was born in St. Petersburg, Russia, to wealthy and observant parents. He received a Jewish and a general education. He graduated from high school and studied at St. Petersburg University. In the mid-190s, he associated with the Russian social-democratic workers’ movement. In 1892 his parents were exiled from the capital of Tsarist Russia and settled in Homel (Gomel). He remained with his brother in St. Petersburg, but would from time to time go to Homel, and there, soon after the founding of the party, he joined the Bund. He continued his studies, 1899-1901, in Berlin. After receiving his doctoral degree, he returned to Russia, and worked in Vilna as a representative of the central committee of the Bund. For a time he edited the underground Bundist newspaper Der klassen-kampf (Der klasn-kamf, The class struggle) in Vilna in 1902. He played a leading role in the events surrounding the Hirsh Lekert case, as well as in combatting “police socialism” under Zubatov’s Tsarist police among the Jewish workers. He was a delegate to the fifth conference of the Bund in Berdichev. He spent 1903-1905 in prison, had a trial, and his speech at his trial left a profound impression. He was sentenced to five years in the fortress, but before the appeals process started, he escaped abroad. He worked for a time in Geneva for the foreign committee of the Bund and was sent in December 1905 as a Bundist envoy to the United States. In New York, he took a leadership position among the Bundist groups. He was active as well in the American socialist movement and in Workmen’s Circle. He was also a publisher of Jewish and general socialist books and the author of appeals and brochures, in Yiddish and Russian, published by the Bund—among them: An entfer dem vilner gubernator fon val un hirshke lekert un zayn protses (A reply to the Vilna governor, [Victor] von Wahl, and Hirshke Lekert and his trial); Di koshere arbayter bavegung (The legitimate workers’ movement), initially published in Der arbayter shtime (The voice of labor), no. 28. He contributed to the Forverts (Forward), Naye tsayt (New times), and Tsukunft (Future)—all in New York; Folkstsaytung (People’s newspaper) in Vilna; and others. He died in New York.
Sources: Ab. Kahan, Bleter fun mayn lebn (Pages from my life) (New York, 1928), vol. 4, p. 430; F. Kurski, in Unzer tsayt (New York) (December 1944; June 1945); John Mill, Pyonern un boyer (Pioneers and builders) (New York, 1949), vol. 2, p. 45; Y. Sh. Herts, Hirsh lekert (Hirsh Lekert) (New York, 1952), pp. 97, 109; Herts, Di yidishe sotsyalistishe bavegung in amerike (The Jewish socialist movement in America) (New York, 1954), pp. 113, 125, 126; Herts, ed., Doyres bundistn (Generations of Bundists), vol. 1 (New York, 1956), pp. 269-73.