Epstein, Melech

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EPSTEIN, MELECH (1889–1979), Yiddish journalist and editor. Born in Ruzhany, Belorussia, Epstein received a traditional Jewish education but left home at the age of 13 and became involved in socialist activities in Russia and Poland. In 1913 he immigrated to the U.S., where he joined the Communist Party in 1921. Epstein was one of the founders of the Yiddish daily Morgn Frayhayt and its chief editor from 1925 to 1928. He also served on the editorial board of the Communist monthly Der Hamer. He left the Communist Party in 1939 in protest against the Hitler-Stalin pact. Thereafter he contributed to the Forverts and Tsukunft as well as to the English-language Jewish press. He wrote Sacco un Vanzetti ("Sacco and Vanzetti," 1927), Sovyetn Farband Boyt Sotsyalizm ("The Soviet Union Builds Socialism," 1935), and The Jew and Communism … in the Jewish Community, U.S.A., 19191941 (1959).


A. Rejzen, Leksikon, 2 (1927), 798–800; lynl, 7 (1968), 21–2; S. Bickel (ed.), Pinkes far der Forshung fun der Yidisher Literatur un Prese, 1 (1965), 325, 327, 331–2; Sefer Yahadut Lita, 3 (1967), 31. add. bibliography: B. Kohen (ed.), Leksikon fun Yidish-Shraybers (1986), 419.

[Israel Ch. Biletzky /

Lily O. Kahn (2nd ed.)]