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Abraham Goldstein

Summary Information

Jewish Historical Society of Greater Hartford
Abraham Goldstein
Date [inclusive]
4.0 Cubic feet
Biographical/Historical note Abraham Goldstein was born in Kiev, Russia on December 30, l893, the son of Lazer and Sarah Goldstein. He attended college in Kiev, specializing in Yiddish Literature. He joined the Zionist movement while in school and studied under the famous Zionist leader Shmarya Levin (or Levine). During the early part of WWI, Goldstein served in the Russian Army and then left in the fall of 1915 for a "difficult journey" through Siberia, China, Japan, San Francisco, Seattle, and eventually to New York. After his arrival, Goldstein joined the Zionists in Brooklyn. In 1919, he moved to Hartford and worked for the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) as director of the Connecticut Zionist Bureau. He quickly became known for his skills as an orator, especially in Yiddish. He built up the membership of the local chapters through his own natural talents and through the visits of prominent Zionists whom he brought to this city, including Chaim Weizmann, Albert Einstein, Louis Brandeis, and Shmarya Levin. A few years later, Goldstein went to work in insurance and soon became a highly successful General Agent (head of the Goldstein Agency) for Bankers National Life Insurance Co. He continued his active work on behalf of Zionism, gaining the friendship of many prominent figures in the movement. He earned positions as Vice President of the ZOA, member of its national administrative council and executive committee, delegate of the ZOA to the World Zionist Congress, and council member of the United Palestine Appeal. Locally, Goldstein was an active supporter of the Hartford Zionist District, the Hartford Jewish Welfare Fund, and Agudas Achim Synagogue. Goldstein was always known for his talent with words and his love of Yiddish and Hebrew literature and culture. In addition to publishing his own Yiddish monthly, Die Zeit or Die Neie Zeit and a book in Yiddish on fishing, he wrote letters, articles, and columns for numerous other publications, including Yiddish Lebn, Dos Yiddishe Folk, The Day, The Forward, and The New Palestine. He also became known for writing and acting in satiric comedic musicals about members of the local community. Goldstein is considered an outstanding figure in the American Zionist movement. His oratorical skills and organizational abilities turned the efforts in Connecticut into a model for the rest of the U.S. He was known for his integrity, loyalty, courage, and leadership, both here and abroad. Goldstein married Anna Hurewitz, whom he met through Zionist activities, and they had two children: a son, Ellie, and a daughter, Ziona. Goldstein died on December 26, l953.
Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents note Goldstein was well known as a public speaker and writer, but relatively few examples of his skill exist in English in this collection. Perhaps 40% of this collection is in Yiddish, including most of the examples of Goldstein's writing abilities. The collection gives a behind-the-scenes look at various internal policy issues that occasionally gripped the ZOA and other major organizations. As a friend of national figures and a man trusted for his integrity, Goldstein was privy to some of these conflicts. The collection also contains a large body of news clippings on local Zionist activity; these clippings include substantial information on other prominent Zionists in the area. Unfortunately, however, Goldstein did not include the dates of many of the articles that he saved.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information
Jewish Historical Society of Greater Hartford

333 Bloomfield Avenue
West Hartford, CT, 06117

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Collection Inventory

Series I: A – Correspondence/English
Awards and Honors
Civic Activities/Miscellaneous
Civic Activities/Zionism and Z.O.A.
Civic Activities/Zionism, Z.O.A., and World Zionist Congress
Correspondence in English undated and l9l6-l933
Correspondence in English l934-l938
Correspondence in English l939-l940
Correspondence in English l94l
Correspondence in English 1942-1943
Correspondence in English 1944-1946
Correspondence in English 1947-1949
Correspondence in English 1950-1953
Correspondence in English and misc. publications (Gordon Family donation)

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Series II: Correspondence/Yiddish
Correspondence in Yiddish 1931-1938
Correspondence in Yiddish 1939-1941
Correspondence in Yiddish 1942-1945
Correspondence in Yiddish 1946-1950
Correspondence in Yiddish 1951-1953
Correspondence in Yiddish dates not apparent, folder 1 of 2
Correspondence in Yiddish dates not apparent, folder 2 of 2
Marriage and Family
Miscellaneous Papers (including clippings about Zionism that do not mention Goldstein)
Obituaries and Memorials
Oral History Tape Transcript/interview of Goldstein's son Ellie -- tapes 163, 164
Photographs (photocopies)
Professional Activities/Director, Zionist Bureau of Connecticut
Professional Activities/Goldstein Insurance Agency
Publications/Book in Yiddish on fishing, written by Goldstein, 1951
Publications/Zionist Topics

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