Joseph Barondess Photo

Joseph Barondess

Born: Jul 3, 1867

Death: Jan 1, 1928

Nationality: United States

Joseph Barondess

Date of Birth : Jul 3, 1867
Date of Death : Jan 1, 1928

Joseph Barondess was a labor leader and political figure in New York City's Lower East Side Jewish community in the late nineteenth century and early twentieth century. Known as the "King of the Cloakmakers", whose union he led, he carried himself like an actor, a career he had tried but failed at before he became a garment worker and union leader. In his heyday he was in great demand at public celebrations of all sorts; as one observer of the time noted, "It was almost a pleasure to die, knowing that Barondess would arrange the rites." He was born in Bar, Ukraine in Vinnytsia region near Kamenetz Podolsk in Ukraine son of Rabbi Judah Samuel Barondess. He was a relative of Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis. Joseph Barondess may have spent time in Medzhibozh or perhaps he felt affiliated with the town because his wife came from there. Regardless, he was a lifelong member of the Medzhibozh landsmanshaftn society and helped support various members. He immigrated to England in 1885 where he met his wife Anna Zifels and came to the United States in 1888. After trying out with the Romanian Opera Company in New York, he went to work in the garment trade.

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