The Jewish Labor Unions

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photo: A convention of the Jewish socialist Bund in Antwerp, Belgium, 1931. The Yiddish banner on the podium reads: "1897-The Bund should live-1937."  From the USHMM, courtesy of Anna  Anna Altenberg-Burshtain.

Text adapted from Wikipedia.


The Jewish Labor Bund is an organization founded in Wilno in 1897 by the Jewish socialist party. It sought to unite all Jewish workers in the Russian Empire into a united socialist party.

The Bund sought to ally itself with the wider Russian social democratic movement to achieve a democratic and socialist Russia. Within such a Russia, they hoped to see the Jews achieve recognition as a nation with a legal minority status.

The Bund was a secular socialist party, opposed to what they saw as the reactionary nature of traditional Jewish life in Russia. Created before the Russian Social Democratic Labor Party (RSDLP), the Bund became a founding collective member of the RSDLP at its first congress in Minsk in March 1898. For the next five years, the Bund was recognized as the sole representative of the Jewish workers in the RSDLP, although many Russian socialists of Jewish descent, especially outside of the Pale of Settlement, joined the RSDLP directly.

Learn more about the Jewish Labor Bund, its history and activities in Europe, by reading the contents listed below.


Members of the Socialist Bund march in a May Day parade
Bialystok, Poland
May 1, 1934

From the USHMM, courtesy of Leo Melamed.





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