Thursday 14 April 2016


            He was born in Yanove (Jonava), Kovno district, Lithuania, into a commercial household.  He studied in religious primary school, synagogue study hall, and in the yeshivas in Kovno and Slobodka.  In 1896 he moved to the United States, studied at Harvard and Columbia Universities, and he received his doctoral degree in social sciences.  In 1903 he was a cofounder of the Labor Zionist Party in America, later also of “Haaluts” (The pioneer) and Dovre ivrit (Speakers of Hebrew).  From 1915 to 1925, he lived in Israel, worked as a teacher in the first Herzliya high school in Yafo-Tel Aviv, and at the same time was active in Aḥdut haavoda (Union of labor).  He was interned in Turkey during WWI.  From 1925 to 1929, he again was living in New York, before returning to Israel and working there until his death for the publishing house of Haskola (Enlightenment).  He published articles on social issues, as well as on education and labor problems in Yiddish, Hebrew, and English.  He contributed pieces to: Dr. Chaim Zhitlowsky’s Dos naye lebn (The new life) and Der idisher kemfer (The Jewish fighter) in New York; Hashiloa (The shiloah), Hapoel hatsair (The young worker), Haḥinukh (Education), Ben hazmanim (Between times) in Tsfat, and Hagalil (The Galilee), among others—all in Israel.  He published the following books: Evolution of Modern Hebrew Literature, 1850-1912 (New York: Columbia University Press, 1916), 127 pp; Modern Palestine, Jewish Life and Problems (New York, 1927), 227 pp.  He was co-editor and, for a time, editor of Der idisher kemfer in New York, the Ben hazmanim anthology (Tsfat, 1915-1916), and Hagalil (together with Rachel Yanait-Ben-Zvi).  He was also the author of English-Hebrew and Hebrew-English dictionaries.  He died in Jerusalem.

Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 1; L. Shpizman, in Geshikhte fun der tsienistisher arbeter-bavegung fun tsofn-amerike (History of the Zionist labor movement in North America), vol. 1 (New York, 1955), see index; D. Tidhar, in Entsiklopedyah leḥalutse hayishuv uvonav (Encyclopedia of the pioneers and builders of the yishuv), vol. 8 (Tel Aviv, 1958), p. 3153; Ephraim E. Lisitzky, The Grip of Cross Currents (New York, 1959), pp. 150-52—translated from the Hebrew, Ele toldot adam (This is the history of mankind) (Jerusalem, 1949); Sefer haishim (Biographical dictionary) (Tel Aviv, 1936/1937), pp. 564-65; Universal Jewish Encyclopedia , vol. 10, p. 446.

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