HELD, ADOLPH


HELD, ADOLPH (1885–1969), U.S. communal and labor leader and Yiddish journalist. Held, who was born in Borislav, Poland, was taken to the United States in 1892. He joined the staff of the Yiddish-language *Jewish Daily Forward, where he served as news editor from 1907 to 1912 and then as business manager from 1912 to 1917. From 1917 to 1919 he was a Socialist member of New York City's Board of Aldermen. In 1920 he was appointed European director of the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS), in which capacity he assisted hundreds of thousands of Jewish immigrants to the United States. Returning to America in 1924, he became president of the Forward Association, the paper's governing body, and of the Amalgamated Bank, whose main function it was to provide financial aid to the garment industry. In 1938 he was chosen national chairman of the Jewish Labor Committee. Held resigned his presidency of the bank in 1945 in order to become welfare director of the International Ladies Garment Workers Union. He was made general manager of the Jewish Daily Forward in 1962. In the years before his death he was also active in senior citizens' groups and took part in the campaign for the extension of Social Security benefits and the establishment of Medicare.

[Hillel Halkin]


Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.