Pat, Jacob

views updated


PAT, JACOB (1890–1966), Jewish labor leader, teacher, author, and journalist. Pat was born in *Bialystok into a working-class family, was an outstanding student in the *Musar yeshivot, and joined the Zionist socialist circles of his native town on the eve of the 1905 revolution. He was a member of the *Zionist-Socialist Workers' Party and from 1917 of the *United Jewish Socialist Workers' Party. In 1920 he joined the Bund and at first adhered to its left wing. He began his pedagogic career as a Hebrew teacher and was later headmaster of several schools, as well as an active proponent of Yiddish culture. After World War i he acted as secretary of the Democratic Jewish Community of Bialystok. From 1921 to 1939 he lived in Warsaw. He served as secretary of the center of the Yiddish school network (cysho; 1921–29). He was a recognized spokesman of the Bund and in 1929 he became a member of the editorial board of its daily organ Folkstsaytung. Pat was also a member of the Jewish community council of Warsaw. On the eve of World War ii he arrived in the United States as a member of the Bund delegation, and remained there. He was a member of the body representing the Polish Bund in the U.S. until its dissolution (1947), but his main activity was within the *Jewish Labor Committee, of which he was the general secretary until 1963. Though formerly an outspoken anti-Zionist, Pat headed the new trend in the Bund which called for a change in the attitude toward the Jewish state in Palestine, even before its establishment. He was an ardent orator and a versatile lecturer. He began to write Hebrew novels in 1905, later changing to Yiddish, and he was a prolific author and publicist who dealt with a wide range of subjects. In the United States Pat was coeditor of the monthly Zukunft. His writings include Bundistn 1–2 (1926–29) and Ashes and Fire (1947).


I.S. Hertz (ed.), Doyres Bundistn, 3 (1968), 61–65.

[Moshe Mishkinsky]