Funeral Today for Shiplacoff, Labor Leader
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Funeral Today for Shiplacoff, Labor Leader

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Funeral services will be held at 11 o’clock this morning for Abraham I. Shiplacoff, Socialist labor leader, who died at 6:15 yesterday morning at Israel Zion Hospital, Brooklyn. He had been ill for lome time, suffering from a severe kidney disease.

At about eleven o’clock Tuesday evening he labsed into a coma. Two hours later he regained consciousness long enought to remark to Dr. Louis Seidoff, his physician, that “one must become accustomed to the thought of death.” Mr. Shiplacoff’s family was at his bedside when he died.

Born in the government of Chernigov, South Russia, in 1877, Shiplacoff came to the United States at the age of fourteen and went to work on a farm in Woodbine, the Jewish agricultural settlement in New Jersey. A year later, his family moved to Brownsville, where young Abraham become an operator in sweat shop, working about twelve hours a day and at the same time attending night school. He finally succeeded in passing the examination for the Jamaica Training School for Teachers, from which he graducted in 1905.

After teaching school for two years, his health compelled him to seek a change of occupaftion. He entered the New York Customs House as a clerk and after three years sevice was promoted to assistant debuty collector. He resigned in 1914 to become labor editor of the Jewish Daily Forward. In January, 1915 , he was elected secretary of the United Hebrew Trades, with a membership of more than 400,000. He also taught and Iectured at the Rand School of Social Science.

He organized the William Morris Club in Brownsville thirty years ago, and was principal of a Socialist Sunday school. He belonged to the Forward Press Federation, the Workmen’s Circle, the Socialist party, the East New York Hospital and may other charitable and educational institutions, and was active in each and every in one.


In November, 1915, he was elected fto the Assembly, the first Socialist to go to Albany from Greater New York and the second in New York State. He was reelected twice, and it took the united oppositior of the two other parties to defeat him for a fourth term. In 1919 he was elected to the New York Board of Aldermen. His legislative work was carried on along strictly progressive lines. All his activities proved that he had cast his lot with the masses. To quote from a report of the Citizen’s Union, he “desverves credit for consistent opposition to unsound labor law amendmens.” Among the most importantant measures introduced by Shiplacoff-were the bills requiring the establishment f evening naturalization courts, making it a misdemeanor to advertise for strikebreakers without stating the true conditions, increasing the restrietions on child labor; amending the penal law to prohibit the “third deree”; restricting manufacturing in tenements, and many others.

His career as a legislato was collowed by intensive works in the labor movement proper. He seved as manager of the Amalgamated Clothing workers, and of the Fancy Leather Goods Workers’ Union, and wound up his active life as Executive Director of the Deborah Sanitarium for Consuptives in Browns Mills, N. J., from which he resigned owing to ill health a few months ago, but in the affarirs of which he kept up an unflagging interest.


As an ardent “international” Socialist in his younger years, and obeying the policies of his party, Shiplacoff had at first been indifferent to the Zionist movement, but since the war, when Palestine as a Jewish Homeland became more of a reality than ever before, Shiplacoff furned into a most enthusiastic supporter of fthe movement, into which he threw himself body and soul. In 1927, after a trip to Europe, he went to Palestine as a delegate of the United Hebrew Trades campaign to supply tools to the settlers.

To those who knew him personally, Shiplacoff was more than a communal worker for the good of humanity as a whole and the Jews in particular. Unlike many other persons in similar position he always found time and energy to help mafterially, more than his maeans allwed him, and spiritually, without stint or limit-all those who applied to him. To friednds who came to see him in the hospital before he lapsed into a comaless than a week before his passing, he would never complain of his pain which most of the time was unbearable, but would inquire about thier near and dear ones and about their material well-be-ing. He is survived by his window, Henrietta, his loyal mate who devoted all her energy and all her life to make it easier for him to perform his arduous and, often as not, selt-imposed taks and duties. He also leaves two sons, William M. and Frederick E., and a daughter, Mrs. Libby Green.

Shiplacoff’s body will lie in state all day today in the Brownsville Labor Lyceum, 229 Sackman St. Brooklyn, and will be transferred early tomorrow morning to the Forward Hall, 175 East Broadway, New York. The funeral procession will leave the Hall at 11 a. m for the old Mount Carmel Cemetery in Brooklyn, where the beloved leader will be laid to rest in the same row with Sholom Aleichem, Morris Rosenfeld, Meyer London and others.

Grief at his passing was expressed by the Poale Zion-Zeire Zion Party, which acclaimed him as “one of the first Jewish labor leaders in America to perceive that the struggle for a new social order must, in the case of the Jews, go hand in hand, with the strughgle for the national emancipation of the Jewish people.”

The Pioneer Women’s Organization in a statement upon the death of Abraham Shiplacoff, declared that the Jewish working class would long feel the loss of the “labor leader and Socialist who gave his best years for the working class as a whole and for Jewish labor in particular.”


The dreamatic group of the Brooklyn Jewish Center will preduce the comedy “Is Zat So?” in the auditorium at 667 Eastern parkway on Sunday evening, February 18.

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