Israel Issar Katzowitsch, author of “Zechtzig Yor Leben,” a book of memoirs covering Jewish life in Russia and America from 1859 to 1919, died Wednesday at Beth Moses Hospital following a two weeks’ illness, it was learned Friday. He was seventy-five.
The son of a poor storekeeper of Wilno province, Katzowitsch received the traditional Jewish education and at the age of 14 began to earn his own living as a teacher. He continued his studies, including world literature and the Russian language, even after his marriage, at eighteen, when he became a grain merchant.
In 1881 Katzowitsch came here with his entire family, intending to establish a colony. This venture failed and he returned to Russia, where he became a bookkeeper. He became interested in Zionism and was one of the founders of the Bnai Moshe of Poltawa. The pogroms of 1902 and 1905 prompted him to attempt American life again. The second effort was successful. After several years as a teacher and farmer, Katzowitsch became associate editor of the Jewish Farmer, which post he held until 1925.
Besides “Zechtzig Yor Leben” Katzowitsch wrote a Hebrew translation of that volume, “Dos Eibige Folk” and “Men Ken Veren Kligger,” published shortly before his death.
Katzowitsch is survived by three sons and three daughters.