Pesaḥson, Isaac Mordecai

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PESAḤSON, ISAAC MORDECAI (1876–1943), a pioneer of the *Bund in Russia and Poland. Pesaḥson was born in Shklov but his family settled in Warsaw, where his father, a descendant of the founder of the *Ḥabad ḥasidic movement, officiated as rabbi. As a youth Pesaḥson belonged to a group of Jewish Populist and Marxist intelligentsia. In 1893 he assisted in the publication of the first Yiddish May Day manifesto. During the 1890s, in contact with I.L. *Peretz, he instructed circles of workers in socialist studies. In 1897 he was active in bringing about the merger of Polish-born Jewish members of the Polish Socialist Party (*pps) and the Union of Jewish Workers in Warsaw led by J. *Mill, whose members came from Lithuania. After the establishment of the Bund, he worked for it in Lodz, utilizing his familiarity with Polish ḥasidic life. Subsequently, he was alternately imprisoned on various occasions or active for brief periods in Warsaw and Lodz. He escaped from Siberia and worked with the Bund "committee abroad." During the 1905 Revolution, he worked again in Lodz, and was a Bund delegate at the Fifth Convention of the Russian Social Democratic Labor Party (London, 1907). From 1909 until his death he lived in Bedzin, western Poland. From 1917 he was a member of the central committee of the Bund in Poland. He was employed as secretary of the Jewish community in his town and pursued his activities for the Bund until he was murdered during the Nazi occupation. Under the pen name, An Alter Bakante, he published reminiscences on the beginnings of the Jewish workers' movement in Warsaw and Lodz in Der Yidisher Arbeter, 10 (1900), 27–36; 25 Yor (1922), 35–36; and Royter Pinkos, 2 (1924), 159–64.


A. Brandes, Keẓ ha-Yehudim be-Ma'arav Polin (1945); I.S. Hertz (ed.), Doyres Bundistn, 1 (1956), 262–9; I.S. Hertz et al. (eds.), Geshikhte fun Bund, 3 vols. (1960–66), index.

[Moshe Mishkinsky]