MOSHE EREM (July 7, 1896-October 14, 1978)
The adopted name of Moyshe Kazarnovski, he was born in Lyady, Mohilev (Mogilev) province, Russia (now, Belarus), to a father who was a follower of the Jewish Enlightenment and a scholar, as well as among the first Ḥoveve-tsiyon (Lovers of Zion). He studied Torah with his father and Hassidism with his grandfather. He spent only two years at “cheder metukan” (improved religious elementary school). In 1912 he entered Ratner’s Jewish high school in Homel (Gomel) and graduated in 1916. He studied at the psycho-neurological institute in St. Petersburg and in 1918 moved to Moscow and the law faculty. He stood with the left Labor Zionists and was a delegate from Tsaritsyn to the party conference in Kiev. He was there coopted onto the central committee of the party. He conducted illegal work in Poland and Lithuania. In 1919 he was in Bialystok. Later, in Kovno (Lithuania), he managed a Jewish middle school. He was a member of the central committee of the “Kultur-lige” (Culture league). In early 1922 he was arrested by the Lithuanian government and expelled to Germany. He worked (1922-1923) in the Soviet embassy in Berlin.
In 1924 he made aliya to the land of Israel, became a construction worker, and every year until 1935 was the representative of the left Labor Zionists in the workers’ council of Jaffa and Tel Aviv. In 1926 he was elected onto the city council of Tel Aviv.
In 1931 he was a delegate and speaker at the congress of laboring Israel in Berlin. Over the years 1935-1937 he was on party assignment in the United States. In 1937 he was invited to Spain by the Republican government. He took part in the 21st (1939) and 22nd (1946) Zionist congresses, and he was selected onto the Zionist action committee. In 1947 he was a delegate of the left Labor Zionists to the European Zionist conference in Karlsbad.
From 1940 he was a member of the action committee of Histadruth. He served as a member of the Knesset, of the Knesset Commission, of the secretariat and political commission of Mapam (United Workers’ Party), of the world association of Labor Zionism (left), Hashomer Hatsair (Young guard), and Aḥdut Avoda (Unity of labor), and a member of Agudat Haitonim, the association of Hebrew journalists. He was also a member of the last Asefat Hanivḥarim (Assembly of Representatives) in the land of Israel and of the provisional Israeli government in 1948. He published articles in: Davar (Word), Al hamishmar (On guard), and Arbeter-tsaytung (Workers’ newspaper) in Warsaw; Arbeter-vort (Workers’ word) in Kovno; Unzer vort (Our word) in Buenos Aires; Unzer veg (Our path) in New York; Arbeter vort in Paris; and Nay-velt (New world) in Israel. His book-length works include: Di blutike lere fun di palestinishe gesheenishn (The bloody teaching of the Palestinian events) (Warsaw: Kultur, 1929), 47 pp.; Front kegn front (From contra front) (Warsaw, 1930), 32 pp.; Der tsienizm farn internatsyonaln forum (Zionism before the international forum) (Tel Aviv, 1947), 104 pp.; Idishe un arabishe arbet in erets-yisroel (Jewish and Arab labor in the land of Israel) (Chicago: Friends of Workers’ Palestine, 1934), 19 pp.; and several books in Hebrew. He also translated into Yiddish Alexander Manor’s Fertsik yor histadrut, 1920-1960 (Forty years of Histadruth, 1920-1960) (Tel Aviv: Perets Publ., 1960), 315 pp. He died in Tel Aviv.
Sources: D. Tidhar, in Entsiklopedyah leḥalutse hayishuv uvonav (Encyclopedia of the pioneers and builders of the yishuv), vol. 4 (Tel Aviv, 1950), pp. 1955-56; Y. Boaz, in Letste nayes (Tel Aviv) (June 19, 1953); Keneder odler (Montreal) (August 17, 1956); Y. Aba-Shmuel, “Beshule sefarim beyidish” (In the margins of books in Yiddish), Hatsofe (Tel Aviv) (Adar 19 [= March 7], 1961); Meylekh Ravitsh, Mayn leksikon (My lexicon), vol. 3 (Montreal, 1958), p. 481; B. Ts. Goldberg, in Tog-morgn-zhurnal (New York) (February 16, 1960; January 22, 1961); Y. T., in Unzer veg (New York) (December 1962); Who’s Who in Israel (1955), p. 42.