MORIS ZISKIND (January 15, 1872-September 5, 1958)
He was born in Kovno, Lithuania, to a father who was a cantor. He studied in Rabbi Hershl’s yeshiva in Slobodka. In 1889 he moved to the United States, lived for a time in New York, then moved to Chicago where he was a cigar maker. From 1905 he was active in the Jewish labor movement, was among the funders of the first trade unions in Chicago, helped to establish the first Yiddish-speaking branches of the Socialist Party, and later was active in the Jewish Socialist Federation, the Workmen’s Circle, and the Jewish Labor Committee. He debuted in print in the Baltimore weekly newspaper Der izraelit (The Israelite) in 1891, in which he published a description of his voyage to the United States. He later published articles in Folkstsaytung (People’s newspaper) in New York and in Filadelfyer yudish prese (Jewish press of Philadelphia), a daily newspaper (1904). In Chicago he wrote for: Yudisher kuryer (Idisher kuryer—Jewish courier) and Yudisher arbayter velt (World of Jewish labor), the first socialist weekly, which Ziskind had helped to found in Chicago. He also edited the socialist weekly Der nayer dor (The new generation) in 1905. In addition, he published in Forverts (Forward) and Tsukunft (Future) in New York. From 1920 he was the labor editor of the daily Chicago edition of New York’s Forverts. He also wrote under the pen names: Bar-Kokhba, Ben-Yisroel, and Shapse Golem, among others. He died in Chicago.
Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 1; M. Khizkuni, in Pinkas shikago (Records of Chicago) (1952), p. 77; Y. Sh. Herts, Di yidishe sotsyalistishe bavegung in amerike (The Jewish socialist movement in America) (New York, 1954), see index; Y. Sigal, in Forverts (New York) (September 6, 1958); H. Shneyd, in Unzer tsayt (New York) (October 1958); Yedies fun yivo (New York) (December 1958).
Khayim Leyb Fuks