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Rhinewine, Abraham


RHINEWINE, ABRAHAM (1887–1932), Canadian journalist and historian. Rhinewine, who was born in Mezhirech (Miedzyrzec), Poland, studied for several years in the yeshivah in Slobodka. To avoid arrest for political activity he fled to London, where he lived from late 1907 to late 1908. He emigrated to Toronto in 1909. Already involved in journalism and editing before his arrival in Canada, in 1912 he joined the staff of Toronto's Hebrew Daily Journal, and from 1915 to 1931 served as its editor. For 15 years Rhinewine wrote almost daily for the Hebrew Daily Journal, reporting on a wide range of communal and cultural issues, as well as contributing some of his own fiction and drama. As the paper's editor, Rhinewine managed to appeal to a broader spectrum of the Jewish community, but the newspaper's editorial policy was decidedly pro-labor and Zionist. Rhinewine was an active member of the Labor Zionist movement. As a Labor Zionist delegate, he attended the founding convention of the 1919 Canadian Jewish Congress in Montreal and remained an active supporter of the organization's work. He was also an advocate of Jewish secular education and a founder and volunteer teacher at the National Radical School in Toronto, which opened its doors in 1911 with the support of various left-wing community groups. In addition Rhinewine chaired the Sholem Aleichem Library. An author in both Yiddish and English, Rhinewine did pioneer research in Canadian history. His writings include Erets Yisroel in Yidishn Lebn un Literatur (1921); In a Kanadishn Shtot (1921), a novella; the two-volume Der Yid in Kanada (1925–27); and Looking Back a Century on the Centennial of Jewish Political Equality in Canada (1932). A year before he died, Rhinewine was pushed out of his position at the Hebrew Daily Journal. He founded a rival weekly, the Yidishe Velt, but died of a heart attack while working on the second issue.


C.L. Fuks, 100 yor yidishe un hebreyishe literature in kanade (1980), 288–90; S. Speisman, The Jews of Toronto: A History to 1937 (1979); R. Frager, Sweatshop Strife: Class, Ethnicity and Gender in the Jewish Labour Movement in Toronto, 19001939 (1992).

[Ben G. Kayfetz /

Richard Menkis (2nd ed.)]

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