WIERNIK, PETER (1865–1936), U.S. Yiddish journalist. Wiernik was born in Vilna, but emigrated to the U.S. in 1885 and settled in Chicago, where he wrote for the Yiddish Chicago Daily Courier. From 1901 to 1936 he was editor for New York's most important Yiddish daily, the Jewish Morning Journal. His editorials, possessed of intelligence, good taste and tolerance, advocated a fusion of modern Orthodoxy and Americanism, and evinced a coolness to political Zionism and hostility to socialism. In addition to Yiddish, he also wrote in Hebrew and English, and was for a time editor of the Amerikaner. Besides the editorials, Wiernik's most important work was his History of the Jews in America (1912; 1931, reprinted 1972). His Yiddish autobiography, written in 1934, appeared weekly in the Morning Journal, Sept. 2–Dec. 23, 1951. He was also active in communal matters and was a member of the executive of the Joint Distribution Committee.
Reisen, Lexicon, 1, 990–93, LNYL, I–II, 456–59.
[Joseph Hirsch (2nd ed.)]
Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.