Kopelov died in New York in 1933. We include in our book several chapters of his wonderful memories about old Bobruisk from about 100 years ago (see pages 233-247).
Rubin Guskin was born in Bobruisk on August 1, 1887. His parents, Yosef and Rasha, were poor people. His father was a tradesman. Rubin studied in cheders but because of the need he went to work. He became an apprentice to a carpenter. Later he became a barber.
In his home city he was attracted to the Bund and in participated in the Bundist self defense against pogroms which took place in Homel in 1903.
A year later he escaped to America to avoid an arrest for his revolutionary activity. In his new home he threw himself into the Socialist movement. He was one of the founders of the Bobruisker Branch 206 of the Workmen's Circle which bears his name. He also helped organize the Barber's Union where he became a leader.
After the first World War Guskin organized help for his home town, Bobruisk, which was arranged through the Bobruisker Workmen's Circle Branch and landsman groups.
Thanks to his abundant energy and dedication, he was entrusted with important and responsible tasks in all areas of the Jewish labor movement. He was chosen as a member of the National Executive and later was President of the Workmen's Circle.
In 1918, the Jewish Actors Union selected Guskin as Director, a post he kept until he died. Under Guskin's leadership and thanks to his energy, the Jewish theater reached the highest degree of material and cultural attainment that a Jewish theater had when it reached America.
Rubin Guskin had great respect for the value of Jewish culture, for the bearers of Jewish culture and all that concerns Jewish ways. He was a devoted friend of the Jewish land, both in establishing the State of Israel and later.
His sudden death on October 4, 1951 was a true loss for the entire Jewish Socialist and Workers movement and most of all for the Jewish theater in America, where his place was vacant because there was no one to fill his shoes.
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