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Abraham Cahan (1860–1951), was a Lithuanian-born American author, socialist leader and editor of the Yiddish newspaper the Jewish Daily Forward. The 1890s were a dark era for many Jews. Between 1887 and the outbreak of World War I, more than 2 million Jews came to America. Most were poor and came from what are now Russia, Ukraine, Poland, Lithuania and other centers of Eastern European Jewish life. The new arrivals clustered in unsanitary tenements, worked long hours in sweatshops and open air markets, spoke mainly Yiddish and possessed few skills with which to enter the English-language labor force. They faced religious prejudice and the challenges of adapting to an unfamiliar environment. The Forward became a leading advocate for these Jewish immigrants. Named after the great Social Democratic newspaper in Berlin, the Forverts appeared on the streets of New York in April 1897, written entirely in Yiddish. Its first editor was 37-year-old Abraham Cahan.
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