Friday 18 January 2019


MENAKHEM-MENDL TSIPIN (July 11, 1874-November 30, 1925)
            He was born in Chernigov (Chernihiv), Ukraine.  He received a strict religious education, later studying in high school from which he was expelled over a strike.  In 1902 he had to leave the Russian empire, and he departed for the United States.  He worked in weaving, helped to organize a union, and chaired it for a time.  He began writing sketches for Fraye arbeter shtime (Free voice of labor) in New York; while still in Russia, he wrote Hebrew poetry and contributed to Russian-language newspapers and magazines.  He later published stories and sketches in Fraynd (Friend) and Dos lebn (The life).  For a short time, he worked with the newly founded Varhayt (Truth), before switching to the anarchist daily Di abend tsaytung (The evening newspaper).  In Philadelphia he co-edited an anarchist weekly entitled Broyt un frayhayt (Bread and freedom).  He became a contributor to Chicago’s Idisher kuryer (Jewish courier) and other serials.  In 1910 he became city editor for Idisher kuryer, later moving over to Miller’s newspaper Der fihrer (The leader) where he served as labor editor, until the paper folded.  He then became assistant editor of Fortshrit (Progress).  After the February (March) Revolution in 1917 he returned to Russia.  From Moscow he corresponded to Yudishes tageblat (Jewish daily newspaper), Tog (Day), Idishe velt (Jewish world) in Philadelphia, and Fortshrit, among others.  He came back to Philadelphia and wrote for Nation (in English), and Forverts (Forward), among others.  He was active in the Communist movement and wrote for Di frayhayt (The freedom).  In 1925 he again left for Russia.  He settled in Odessa and assumed an important position there.  He came back to New York a sick man and died a short time later.  He translated into Yiddish: Nikolai Lenin, A briv tsu di amerikaner arbeter (A letter to American workers [original: Pis’mo k amerikanskim rabochim] (New York: Avangard, 1919), 24 pp.; and Albert Williams, Di bolshevikes un di sovetn (The Bolsheviks and the soviets) (New York: Avangard, 1919), 48 pp.

Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 3; Kritikus, in Tsukunft (New York) (1904), p. 51; Moyshe Shtarkman, in Hadoar (New York) (May 23, 1947), p. 844; D. Shub, in Forverts (New York) (November 7, 1965).
Yankev Kahan

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