W. was born on 10 July 1866
in Odessa, Ukraine, into a poor family. When he was
young he became an orphan, and W. came on as an [overwriter=oybershreiber]
for a lawyer. Often he would attend the wine cellars,
where he used to perform as a Yiddish folk singer.
At the age of sixteen he
immigrated to America. Here he entered into work in a
cigar factory and soon became active in the Socialist
movement, mainly around organizing the unions.
In 1888 he became first
secretary of the United Yiddish Workshops.
Since 1890 journalistically
active, he became a permanent co-worker of the "Forward"
and went then put out a special book of his memories
about the Yiddish worker's movement in America.
Among his memories W. also
published ("Forward", 15 April, 14 May 1924, 30th-year
jubilee number and 24 April 1927) several pages of
memories about the Yiddish folksingers in Odessa, about
the first performances in Odessa (1879), the first
Yiddish performance in America (1882-83), the history of
the Yiddish variety theatres in America and of the
Yiddish actors and Chorus-Unions".