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Zuckerman, Baruch

ZUCKERMAN, BARUCH

ZUCKERMAN, BARUCH (1887–1970), Labor Zionist leader. Zuckerman was born in Kurenetz, Russia. Steeped in Jewish tradition, he was early drawn to Zionism. Upon his arrival in the United States in 1903 he quickly involved himself in the development of the Labor Zionist movement in that country, becoming one of the founders of the U.S. Po'alei Zion party. When the movement split into territorialist and Palestine-centered factions after the Uganda offer, he went over to the Socialist-Territorialists in 1905, rejoining the Po'alei Zion in 1910. Zuckerman's role in the Labor Zionist movement in the United States was both that of major exponent and of formulator of policy. By virtue of his varied activities as editor, journalist, speaker, and holder of high office in the movement, he became one of the chief spokesmen of the U.S. Po'alei Zion throughout the world. He was a trusted representative of the people in the large Yiddish-speaking sector of the Jewish community. Zuckerman's influence was not confined to his party activities. He played a significant part in the foundation of the People's Relief Committee, serving as its executive director from 1915 to 1924. He was also among the founders and promoters of Farband, the Labor Zionist fraternal order; the Jewish Legion of World War i; the American Jewish Congress; and the Histadrut Campaign.

Zuckerman served as one of the chief representatives of the Labor Zionist movement in the World Organization. A member of the Actions Committee, he was elected to the executive of the Jewish Agency, and was head of its Latin American and Organization Departments from 1948 to 1956. He settled in Israel in 1956 and continued his activities, mainly literary, until his death. In addition to a prolific output of articles and pamphlets, he wrote several volumes of personal memoirs which provide a rich source of historic material for the development of Jewish life and Zionism during the period they cover, among them Oyfen Veg (1956) and Zikhroynes (1962). Many of his shorter pieces were collected in Essayen un Profilen (1967).

[Marie Syrkin]

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