Friday 25 November 2016


KHAYIM-AVROM YAKHNUK (1867-December 31, 1933)
            He was born in Bialystok, Russian Poland.  He studied in religious primary school and synagogue study hall, later becoming a painter.  In his youth he left Bialystok and for a time lived in France and England.  In 1882 he moved to the United States, but because of the economic crisis (1893) he returned to Bialystok where he wrote his booklet In amerika oder fon amerika (In America or from America) (Warsaw, 1894), 64 pp.: “an interesting story of contemporary times in America.”  In it he describes the lives of Jewish workers during the crisis.  He also published articles and correspondence pieces in: Der yud (The Jew), Fraynd (Friend), and Haynt (Today)—in Warsaw; and Dos naye lebn (The new life) in Bialystok; among other serials.  In his articles he came out against those who fled Russia for political reasons or military service, and he called upon them rather to fight for their political and Jewish rights in the homes in which they lived.  He also penned a series of popular storybooks (published anonymously over the years 1896-1902 in Warsaw), such as: Tants-klasn (Dance classes).  Under the name “Kh. A. Leybovitsh,” he published Fayne menshen, oder a mittel vi raykh tsu veren, a ertsehlung vos mir bamerken dos bay yeder tsayt un af yeden shrit (Fine people, or a means for how rich to become, a story in which we note this in every era and at every step), with poetry and text (Warsaw, 1899), 64 pp.  In the last years of his life he was a building contractor in Bialystok.  His Tog-bukh (Diary), in manuscript, which would be of significant value for the history of the Jewish labor movement in the United States over the years 1882-1893, as well as for research into the history of Jewish life in Poland, was lost after his death.  He died in Bialystok.

Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 1; Dos naye lebn (Bialystok) (January 1, 1934); Elye. Tsherikover, Geshikhte fun der yidisher arbeter-bavegung in di fareynikte shtatn (The history of the Jewish labor movement in the United States), vol. 1 (New York: YIVO, 1943), pp. 274-77.
Khayim Leyb Fuks

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