YITSKHOK FRIDLAND (I. FRIEDLAND) (December 15, 1884-September 17, 1965)
He was born in Zhitomir, Volhynia region, Ukraine. Until is bar mitzvah he studied in religious elementary school. For a long period of time he worked as a house painter. At age sixteen he joined the Socialist Revolutionary Party and took part in self-defense during the Zhitomir pogrom. In late 1906 he came to the United States. In New York he became involved with Jewish anarchist circles. In 1910 he joined an agrarian society and was one of the first ten in the planned colony of Clarion in Utah, preparing the soil for the colonists. Later, after the colony fell apart, in 1913 he moved to Los Angeles and lived there until his death. He was the first and for the last twenty years of his life the president of the Culture Club of Los Angeles. He debuted in print in Fray arbeter-shtime (Free voice of labor) in New York. He wrote as well for: Tog (Day) and Idishe kemfer (Jewish fighter) in New York; Mayrev (West), Pasifik (Pacific), Zunland (Sun land), Undzer vort (Our word) of which he was also co-editor, Kalifornyer yidish lebn (California Jewish life), Kalifornyer yidishe shtime (Jewish voice of California), Pasifishe folks-tsaytung (Pacific people’s newspaper), and Naye folkstsaytung (New people’s newspaper) in Los Angeles; Meksikaner shtime (Voice of Mexico) and Der veg (The way) in Mexico City; Keneder odler (Canadian eagle) in Montreal; Shriftn (Writings) in Argentina; and Heymish (Familiar) in Tel Aviv. He was the editor of record for the quarterly Kheshbn (Accounting). In book form: Roy-erd (Virgin soil) (Los Angeles, 1949), 260 pp.; Fun pasifik bizn kineret, reportazhn (From the Pacific to the Kinneret, reportage pieces) (Los Angeles, 1953), 116 pp.; Vanderungen un nisyoynes (Wanderings and temptations), stories (Los Angeles, 1959), 256 pp.; In teg fun gerangl (In times of struggle) (Los Angeles, 1962), 250 pp. He also wrote under the pen names: Yitskhok ben Elkhonen and Yitskhoki.
“One can learn a great deal from the book Roy-erd,” wrote Daniel Charney, “as well as enjoy its pure artistry. The memoirist of ‘Clarion’ possesses a poetic sense in which a soul breathes into the long-deceased colonization experiment.”
Sources: H. Frank, in Fraye arbeter-shtime (New York) (September 16, 1949); Frank, in Tsukunft (New York) (October 1949); Danyel Tsharni (Daniel Charney), in Afn shvel (Mexico City) (June 1950); Solomon Kahan, in Di shtime (Mexico City) (July 18, 1959); Mates Daytsh, in Kheshbn (Los Angeles) (October 1959); M. Perlmuter, in Fraye arbeter-shtime (November 1, 1959); Y. Ayzenberg, in Haboker (Tel Aviv) (June 3, 1961).