Cahan, Abraham

▪ American writer
born July 7, 1860, Vilna, Russian Empire [now Vilnius, Lithuania]
died Aug. 31, 1951, New York, N.Y., U.S.

      journalist, reformer, and novelist who for more than 40 years served as editor of the New York Yiddish-language daily newspaper the Jewish Daily Forward (Yiddish title Forverts), which helped newly arrived Jewish immigrants adapt to American culture.

      Himself an immigrant, Cahan arrived in the United States in 1882. While working in a cigar factory, he learned enough English in six years to lecture and write. In 1897 he helped found the Jewish Daily Forward, and in 1902 he became the paper's editor. He prompted the paper to become more outspoken politically, and the publication came to be regarded as one of the most important institutions upholding the interests of immigrants at the turn of the century. Intensely political and bitterly anticommunist, Cahan was also active in organizing trade unions, particularly in the garment industries.

      Cahan's fiction is largely unremarkable except for The Rise of David Levinsky (1917), one of the first books about the Jewish immigrant's experience. Set on the Lower East Side of New York City, the novel traces the fortunes of a penniless immigrant who eventually becomes a wealthy manufacturer. Critics agree that the value of the book is historical rather than literary; its strength lies chiefly in its vivid re-creation of life in a section of New York City. Cahan was more influential as a mentor than as an author, encouraging young writers such as Sholem Asch. As editor of Jewish Daily Forward, he also provided for them a Yiddish-language forum.

Additional Reading
Jules Chametzky, From the Ghetto: The Fiction of Abraham Cahan (1977); Sanford E. Marovitz, Abraham Cahan (1996).

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • CAHAN, ABRAHAM — (1860–1951), editor, author, and socialist leader. Cahan, who was born in the town of Pabrade (Podberezye) near Vilna, seemed in many ways to incarnate the epic Jewish migration from Eastern Europe to America. Driven by a rare blend of common… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Cahan, Abraham — (1860–1951)    US Yiddish editor. Cahan arrived in New York from Vilna in 1882. For nearly fifty years he edited the famous Yiddish paper, Jewish Daily Forward, that at its height had a quarter million circulation. It was the mouthpiece of the… …   Who’s Who in Jewish History after the period of the Old Testament

  • Cahan, Abraham — (1860 1951)    American Yiddish journalist and author. He was born in Lithuania and settled in the US in 1882. He organized the first Jewish tailors union and founded Yiddish periodicals to propagate his theories of socialism and Americanization …   Dictionary of Jewish Biography

  • Abraham Cahan — (July 7, 1860 August 31 1951) [ 88375/51/Abraham Cahan died] . ] was a Russian American novelist and labor leader.He was born in Podberezhye, Lithuania, into a Jewish Orthodox family. His grandfather was a… …   Wikipedia

  • Abraham Cahan — (1937) Abraham Cahan (* 7. Juli 1860 in Podberesy, heute im Rajon Smarhon in Weißrussland; † 31. August 1951 in New York City) war ein amerikanischer Journalist, Publizist und Schriftsteller. In Litauen beteiligte er sich in seiner Studienzeit an …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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  • Cahan — Cahan,   1) [ kʌhʌn], Abraham, amerikanischer Schriftsteller und Journalist, * Podberezy (bei Vilnius) 6. 6. 1860, ✝ New York 31. 8. 1951; kam 1882 in die USA; leitete den »Jewish Daily Forward«, eine Zeitung, die sich auf Jiddisch an die… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Cahan — /kah hahn/, n. Abraham, (Abe), 1860 1951, U.S. novelist and journalist, born in Russia. * * * …   Universalium

  • Cahan — /kah hahn/, n. Abraham, (Abe), 1860 1951, U.S. novelist and journalist, born in Russia …   Useful english dictionary

  • Geschichte der Juden in den USA — Die Geschichte der Juden in den USA beginnt im 17. Jahrhundert mit der niederländischen Besiedelung von Nieuw Amsterdam (New York City). Von Anfang an fanden Juden in Nordamerika größere Freiheit zur Bewahrung ihrer religiösen und kulturellen… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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