Sunday 27 March 2016


MOYSHE HERDER (1842-September 11, 1911)
            He was born in Shargorod (Szarogród, Sharhorod), Podolia region, Ukraine, into a rabbinical family.  He was educated by his grandfather, the local rabbi, and later studied secular subjects and languages.  For a time he worked as a private tutor of Hebrew and Yiddish in wealthy homes in the town of Otshakov (Ochakiv).  He subsequently lived in Odessa, where (together with B. Bakal and others) he founded (Shavuot [May 22,] 1881) the “Am-olam” (Eternal people) movement which assisted Russian Jews to emigrate to the United States.  He came to America with Moses Freeman in 1882, worked for years as a farmer in the Carmel colony in New Jersey. And later became a stitcher of book jackets in New York.  Early in 1892 he moved to Philadelphia where he was a teacher and leader in building Jewish educational institutions.  He contributed to such Philadelphia publications as: Der literarisher shtral (The literary beam) in 1898, Di gegnvart (The present), and Di idishe prese (The Jewish press) in 1892-1893, in which he published articles as well as translations of Herbert Spencer’s Dertsiung (Education).  He also wrote for Di idishe velt (The Jewish world) in Philadelphia (1914-1915).  Among his books: Muter un kind, oder der anfang fun kinder ertsiung (Mother and child, or the beginning of child rearing), chats about hygiene (Carmel Colony, New Jersey, 1910), 88 pp.; Kinder-ertsiung (Rearing of children) (Philadelphia, 1908), five parts, each 24 pp.; Shvangershaft, geburt un kinder-ertsiung (Pregnancy, birth, and child rearing) (Philadelphia, 1909), 88 pp., including a poem and a foreword entitled “Tsu di geerte lezerinen” (To [my] dear female readers); Tshuve lapikoyres (Answering the heretic), “an answer to those who disavow God” and with a preface, “Tsu mayne kinder” (To my children) (Philadelphia, 1911), 63 pp.  He also translated from German into Yiddish a work by Knigge entitled Umgang mit menshen (Dealings with people [original: Über den Umgang mit Menschen]) which appeared in 24-page sections (Philadelphia, 1908-1910).  In 1913 he published Velt-klugheyt (World wisdom), a collection of 700 aphorisms by well-known thinkers, 160 pp.  He died in Philadelphia.  His younger brother MEYER HERDER also wrote poetry and sketches which appeared in Philadelphia Yiddish publications.

Sources: Hertz Burgin, Di geshikhte fun der yidisher arbayter-bavegung in amerike, rusland un england (The history of the Jewish labor movement in America, Russia, and England) (New York, 1915), pp. 70-71; D. B. Tirkel, in Der pinkes (from the American division of YIVO) (New York, 1927-1928), p. 261; M. Freeman, 50 yor geshikhte fun yidn in filadelfye (Fifty-year history of Jews in Philadelphia), vol. 1 (1929), pp. 200-1, vol. 2 (1934), p. 10; A. Litvin, in Idisher kemfer (New York) (January 17, 1936); Y. L. Malamut, Filadelfyer yidishe anshtaltn un zeyere firer (Philadelphia’s Jewish institutions and their leaders) (Philadelphia, 1942); A. Menes, In der geshikhte fun der yidisher arbeter-bavegung in amerike (In the history of the Jewish labor movement in America), vol. 2, pp. 207, 208, 212, 231; Y. Tsuzmer, Beikve hador (At the edge of the generation) (New York, 1957), p. 207.
Khayim Leyb Fuks