Whether or not B. Charney Vladeck, general manager of the Jewish Daily Forward and a veteran Socialist, has succeeded in persuading enough citizens of the Eighth Congressional District of Brooklyn to vote for him today as their Congressman, his opponents will concede that they have been in a grand scrap.
For Vladeck is one man who has been able to carry his spirit of enterprise directly into the political arena. And it has always been a punch that has proved discomfiting to those who got in the way of it.
In 1917 Vladeck was elected to the Board of Aldermen on the Socialist ticket. Almost immediately thereafter Tammany began to feel the sting of his tongue. So powerful an impression did he make upon the men of the wigwam that one of them paid him the following tribute:
“Never debate with that man Vladeck,” he warned the braves. “When he shoots off his face, he is likely to hit you in the weakest spot you got.”
A VARIED CAREER
Vladeck has been paid many compliments by friends and admirers, but the chances are that the above grudging tribute from a political enemy is a source of greater satisfaction than all the others put together.
The Congressional candidate from the Eighth District in Brooklyn has had interesting and varied career that started forty-eight years ago in a small town in Russia. There young Vladeck attended cheder (the Jewish religious school), and later the Yeshiva.
When he was fifteen he launched his political life. It was in some respects an inauspicious debut because it landed him in jail on charges of participating in revolutionary activities. If he wasn’t a revolutionist when he entered that sobering institution, he most certainly was one when he emerged.
His coming-out party was celebrated by more arrests. His jailers must have been so fascinated by the youth’s oratorical powers that they probably asked authorities to incarcerate him as frequently as possible.
SEEKS WIDER FIELD
But sitting in the Czar’s cheerless prison cells and talking politics with his jailers soon lost their fascination for the impulsive Vladeck.
He sought other fields where he might devote his many talents to better purpose than the political education of turnkeys. So in 1908 Vladeck came to this country, where as an earnest worker and an impressive orator in the Socialist cause he soon gained the recognition he merited.
Vladeck’s first job with the Forward was on the Philadelphia edition of that paper. Later he came to New York and assumed the city editorship.
As a result of his stumping for the Socialist party, both in the interests of other candidates and himself, he gained for himself a reputation as a speaker of wit, charm and effectiveness. Not the least of his qualities has been a sincerity that communicates itself to his hearers in a way the average politician would envy.
STEADFAST IN VIEWS
With Vladeck’s silver tongue and a powerful political machine to back him, it is certain that today he would be occupying a high office in the political life of the city, state or nation. That he has never for a moment considered discarding his ideals for the personal advancement he could almost certainly have had speaks eloquently for the man’s character.
Vladeck’s sincerity of purpose and eloquence of tongue have frequently been devoted to many causes involving the interests of the Jewish community. He is found in the forefront of every battle involving protection of Jewish rights in the city and the nation. He is actively identified with the following organizations:
The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, as a member of its executive body; a director of HIAS; a member of the American Jewish Committee; a trustee of the Federation for the Support of Jewish Philanthropic Societies, and a leader of ORT, the Jewish Labor Committee, and a host of other groups.