Sunday 22 November 2015


            He was born in Russia to poor parents.  As a young man he moved to England where he became a laborer.  He was in London in 1901, and there he took an active part in the socialist and trade union movement.  In 1887 he was a cofounder of the tailors’ union in London.  In 1901 he moved to the United States, and for a time he worked as a maker of clothing in New York, and he was active in Local 23 of the clothing-makers’ union.  Over the years 1904-1914, he served as secretary-general of the International Ladies’ Garment Workers’ Union.  He transformed a small trade union into an immense, mass organization.  In 1913 he was sent as a delegate to the international tailors’ conference in London.  He published articles on labor and union matters in Forverts (Forward), Morgn-zhurnal (Morning journal), Tsukunft (Future), and Der veker (The alarm) in 1906; The Ladies’ Garment Worker (in English and Yiddish) in 1911; Di naye post (The new mail) in New York; Arbayter fraynd (Worker’s friend) in London; and the anthology 50 yor fareynikte yidishe geverkshaftn (Fifty years of United Hebrew Trades) (New York, 1938), pp. 117-35.  He also published a work on the role played by Y. A. Hurvitsh in the “International,” and he placed works in the periodical publications of the trade union movement in both Yiddish and English.  He authored a number of pamphlets in America, among them: Di ruine fun der klouk industry, ṿer zaynen di shuldige? (The ruins of the cloak industry, who are the guilty ones?) (New York, 1925), 159 pp.; Ratevet di yunyon (Save the union) (New York, 1927), 128 pp., an adapted abridgement, his own translation of his English-language book: Bolshevism in American Labor Unions: A Plea for Constructive Unionism (New York, 1926), 224 pp.; and Der konstruktiver yunyonizm (Constructive unionism) (New York, 1929), 96 pp.  He also edited: Der kloukmakher (The cloak maker) (New York, 1905); Der veker (New York, 1906); and The Ladies’ Garment Worker (New York, 1911), and others.  He died in New York.

Sources: Y. B. Salutski, in Tsukunft (New York) (September 1910); B. Vaynshteyn, Di idishe yunyons in amerike (The Jewish unions in America) (New York, 1929), see index; Tsvien, Fuftsig yor kloukmakher yunyon 1886-1936 (Fifty years of the cloak makers’ union, 1886-1936) (New York, 1936); Joseph Chaikin, Yidishe bleter in amerike (Jewish newspapers in America) (New York, 1946), pp. 216-17; H. Lang, in Idisher kemfer (New York) (March 23, 1956); L. Levin, The Women’s Garment Workers (New York, 1924), see index; M. Epstein, Jewish Labor in U. S. A. (New York, 1950), vols. I-II.

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