Morris Winchevsky (Leopold Benzion Novokhovitch; Pseudonym: Ben Netz (Hebrew: ‘Son of Hawk’; 1856–1932) was a prominent Jewish socialist leader in London and the United States in the late 19th century.
Born in Kovno, Poland in 1856, Winchevsky later moved to London where, already a well known socialist, he founded the Dos Poilishe Yidl (The Little Polish Jew), one of the first Yiddish daily socialist newspapers; and the Arbeter Fraynd, the first Yiddish-language anarchist newspaper. A “secular humanist” Jewish day school in Toronto, Ontario was named after Winchevsky. Since 1927, the Morris Winchevsky School has been run by the United Jewish People’s Order.
In the US
After immigrating to New York City, Winchevsky joined with Abraham Cahan and Louis Miller, two other prominent New York Jewish socialists, to found what would later become the largest Yiddish-language daily newspaper in the world, The Forward in 1897. This got them kicked out of the Socialist Labor Party. They would later migrate to the Social Democracy of America, the Social Democratic Party of America and the Socialist Party of America.
Winchevsky was later selected as the representative of the Jewish Socialist Federation to the American Jewish Congress when the AJC met to select its delegates to the Paris Peace Conference in 1919. At the meeting of the Congress, Winchevsky was publicly censured by the JSF for expressing Zionist sentiments.
He was subsequently associated with the Communist Party USA and its Yiddish daily Morgen Freiheit.
Winchevsky is also well known for his role in the development of Yiddish poetry. Notably, he was a member of the Proletarian Poets. An association formed with Winchevsky, Morris Rosenfeld and David Edelstadt and Joseph Bovshover.