Baruch Charney Vladeck
|Baruch Nachman Charney|
|Born||13 January 1886
|Died||30 October 1938, age 52
New York City, New York
|Other names||Baruch Nachman Charney, Baruch Charney Vladeck|
|Occupation||American Jewish labor leader, manager of the Jewish Daily Forward, member of the New York City Council|
Baruch Nachman Charney (13 January 1886 – 30 October 1938), known as Baruch Charney Vladeck, was an American Jewish labor leader, manager of the Jewish Daily Forward for twenty years, and a member of the New York City Council.
Vladeck was born in 1886 in Dukor, a small village near Minsk, in what is now Belarus. His parents were Zev Volf and Brokhe Tsharni (née Hurwitz). His father, a fervent Lubavitcher Hasid, died in 1889, leaving Shmuel’s mother a widow with five sons (he being the fifth) and a daughter.
In the early 1900s, Vladeck was drawn to revolutionary movements and was imprisoned in 1904 for conducting classes in liberal politics for young working people. He was an activist in the Jewish Labour Bund party. Vladeck had several more brushes with the Czarist authorities due to his labor organizing and revolutionary activity, and ultimately he sought refuge in the United States.
In America, Vladeck joined the staff of the Jewish Daily Forward in 1912 as manager of its Philadelphia branch while also studying at the Teachers' College of the University of Pennsylvania. In 1918 he became manager of the paper, and remained in that position until his death in 1938. He was also a member of the National Press Club.
In 1917 Vladeck was elected to the New York Board of Aldermen as a Socialist. He was defeated in 1921 but was re-elected in 1937 to the newly formed New York City Council running on the American Labor Party ticket. Vladeck was also at the forefront of establishing public housing for low-income residents and in 1934 was named by Mayor LaGuardia to the New York City Housing Authority.
In 1933 Vladeck laid the groundwork for the Jewish Labor Committee, which was formed by Jewish trade unionists, socialists, and kindred groups and individuals to oppose the rise of Nazism in Germany. The JLC had its founding convention the following February, in New York's Lower East Side; Vladeck was the organization's president from the convention until his death. He, together with Jewish trade union leaders, successfully convinced the American Federation of Labor to support a national boycott of German goods at the labor federation's 1933 convention.
Death and legacy
Vladeck died on 30 October 1938, at the age of 52 from a coronary thrombosis. His funeral procession through the Lower East Side and ending outside the Forward building drew 500,000 mourners. Among the speakers at the service were Governor Herbert Lehman, Mayor Fiorello La Guardia, Senator Robert F. Wagner and Socialist leader Norman Thomas. Vladeck's papers are housed at Tamiment Library at New York University.
Today the Vladeck Houses public housing project on the Lower East Side of Manhattan bear his name, as does nearby "Vladeck Park." The Amalgamated Housing Cooperative in the Bronx contains a lecture hall named Vladeck Hall.
Vladeck's son was civil rights lawyer Stephen C. Vladeck (1920–1979) and his daughter-in-law was renowned labor lawyer Judith Vladeck.
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- Vladeck Park.
1. "B.C. Vladeck Dies; City Councilman" New York Times 31 Oct. 1938: p. 1.
2. "Half Million See Vladeck Funeral" New York Times 3 Nov. 1938: p. 28.
- B. Vladeck in Leben un Shafen. New York: Forverts, 1936.
- Melech Epstein, Profiles of Eleven. Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1965.
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- Harold B. Hunting, "A Revolutionist Devoid of Hate," in Distinguished American Jews. Philip Henry Lotz, ed. New York: Associated Press, 1945.
- Ephraim Jeshurin, B.C. Vladeck: Fifty Years of Life and Labor. New York: 1932.
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- Brian Dolber, "Strange Bedfellows: Yiddish socialist radio and the collapse of broadcasting reform in the United States, 1927-1938." Historical Journal of Film, Television, and Radio, 2013, Vol. 33(2), 289-307.
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- Labor and the Holocaust: The Jewish Labor Committee and the Anti-Nazi Struggle (Origins)
- Labor and the Holocaust: The Jewish Labor Committee and the Anti-Nazi Struggle (Anti-Nazi Activity 1930s)