Several hundred persons thronged Forward Hall yesterday morning to honor the memory of Aaron Samuel Lieberman, credited with being the “father of Jewish Socialism,” on the occasion of the fifty-fourth anniversary of his death in Syracuse.
Seven bouquets of red and white roses, the gifts of the Jewish Workmen’s Circle, trade unions and the Jewish Daily Forward, banked the platform. The Jewish Workmen’s Circle chorus sang.
In the crowd were children of the Workmen’s Circle who had come to pay tribute to the memory of the Jewish Socialist leader. Many of Lieberman’s doctrines are now being taught to these children in the Workmen’s Circle schools.
Many prominent Socialists, headed by Abraham Cahan, editor of the Forward, paid tribute to Lieberman. Other speakers were Joseph Weinberg, president of the Workmen’s Circle; Joseph Baskin, general secretary of the Circle; Dr. Louis Fogelman, well-known Jewish journalist; Leo Arkin of Boston, a landsman of Aaron Lieberman; Philip Gelibter, Samuel Mendelson and Joel Entin.
The speakers were introduced by Joseph Baskin, who presided. All the speakers sat with the audience and arose when their names were called.
“It is important to remember that Lieberman was the first to write the Socialist doctrine in Hebrew and Yiddish,” Cahan said.
Joel Entin eulogized Lieberman as “a great Jewish writer and an ardent Socialist.”
“He educated the Jewish masses in Russia,” said Philip Gelibter. “His prime interest was in educating and liberating the Jewish masses.”
Aaron Lieberman committed suicide in 1880 in Syracuse, thus ending a stormy career which started in Russia. At the time of his death he was thirty-six years of age. The Jewish Workmen’s Circle recently raised funds to have his remains brought here from Syracuse and interred in the Workmen’s Circle cemetery at Mount Carmel.
All the speakers joined in describing how Lieberman grandson of a rabbi, spread Socialist doctrine in Jewish and Hebrew among his people in Russia. As a result of his activities he was forced to flee from Russia and then his tragic course across Europe and America started. He is now recognized as one of Socialism’s greatest personalities.
At the time of Lieberman’s death, it was said, one of the Syracuse newspapers printed a story stating that Lieberman had died unknown and that none would mourn him. This prediction has not been fulfilled, it was pointed out. Not long ago, the same Syracuse newspaper reprinted its Lieherman obituary and drew attention to the fact that all Jewish Socialists now revere him.
After the services the flowers were carried to automobiles in the street and the crowd followed. Many went to the cemetery, where M. Ivensky, author of a short biography of Lieberman, and a small delegation from Syracuse spoke.
Long after the waiting automobiles had left for the cemetery huge crowds stood in front of the Forward building and in Seward Park, across the street, discussing the life and death of the “father of Jewish Socialism.”