Wednesday 22 May 2019


CHARLES RAYEVSKI (April 30, 1861-December 21, 1930)
            He was born with the surname Shamrayevski in Krementshug (Kremenchuk).  He was a “Ḥovev-Tsiyon” (Lover of Zion).  Unable to emigrate to the land of Israel, in 1882 he set off with a group of “Am olam” (Eternal people) for the United States.  He worked on a farm and in factories, while studying at the same time.  He completed his medical degree in 1896 and practiced in New York.  He was active in the Jewish labor movement and was one of the founders of the first Jewish socialist organization in America, “Der propagande-ferayn” (The propaganda association).  In June 1886 he and Ab. Cahan published the first Yiddish socialist periodical in America: Di naye tsayt (The new times)—three issues appeared.  The second serial he published, Naye velt (New world), also lasted on five issues (New York, 1888).  Over the years 1897-1907, he published popular scientific articles in Forverts (Forward) in New York, was in charge of the paper’s letters to the editor, and for a short time (ca. 1902) was also editor.  He also placed articles in Tsukunft (Future).  In 1902 he edited Kalendar un almanakh tsum 5-yorikn yubiley fun forverts (Calendar and almanac on the fifth anniversary of the Forverts).  He also wrote under the pen name: X.W.R.  He died in New York.

Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 4; Kalmen Marmor, Der onhoyb fun der yidisher literatur in amerike, 1870-1890 (The start of Yiddish literature in America, 1870-1890) (New York: Writers’ Section of IKUF, 1944), pp. 34-35, 51; Y. Khaykin, Yidishe bleter in amerike (Yiddish newspapers in America) (New York, 1946), p. 59; Y. Yeshurin, Arbeter ring boyer un tuer (Builders and leaders of the Workmen’s Circle) (New York, 1962), p. 370; Yekhezkl Lifshits, Pinkes fun der forshung fun der yidisher literatur un prese (Record of research on Yiddish literature and the press) (New York, 1975), pp. 256-57.
Berl Cohen

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