Joseph Ezekiel Massel (1850 - 1912) MP

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Nicknames: "Yoysef Mazl"
Birthplace: Ujasin, Vilna, Belarus
Death: Died in Manchester, Greater Manchester, UK
Occupation: Printer, publisher, writer, poet
Managed by: Keith
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Joseph Ezekiel Massel

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Massel

Joseph Massel (also Yoysef Mazl, born near Vilna, Russia, 1850;[1] d. Manchester, 1912)[2] was a Zionist activist, writer, Hebrew poet and translator[3] who emigrated from Russia to Manchester, England in 1895 where he worked as a printer.

Massel was a pioneer in the promotion of Hebrew as the national language, publishing works by Israel Cohen and Harry Sacher among others. He wrote Hebrew poems and translated English classics into Hebrew, including Milton’s Samon Agonistes,[4] Longfellow’s Judas Maccabaeus and Fitzgerald’s Omar Khayyam.[5][6] He also spent two years preparing a unique collection of 94 portraits called a Gallery of Hebrew Poets; 1725–1903.[7]

By the time Chaim Weizmann arrived in Manchester in 1904, Massel was living in a small street of the lower end of Cheetham Hill Road[8] (where his Hebrew printing works was based)[9] across from Red Bank and not far from the Central Synagogue. He was much part of Manchester’s Zionist community and was a vice-president of the Manchester Zionist Association. At that time he was the only person Weizmann knew in Manchester.[10]

Massel attended the First Zionist Congress (Basle, 1897) and had probably met Weizmann at the Second Zionist Congress (Basle, 1898). Showing Weizmann hospitality he never forgot, Massel collected him from the train station, put him up for the night and arranged lodgings for him the next day.[11] Massel also introduced Weizmann to Charles Dreyfus.[12] Weizmann was later to refer to Massel as a "veritable angel" and described his Friday evening visits to the Massel household as "the highlights of my life".[11]

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http://www.manchesterjewishstudies.org/joseph-massel/

Joseph Massel was born in Russia in 1850 and emigrated to Manchester in 1895 where he worked as a printer. He was very much a pioneer in the promotion of Hebrew as the national language, publishing works by Israel Cohen and Harry Sacher among others. Along with his propaganda activities he wrote Hebrew poems and translated English classics into Hebrew, including Milton’s Samon Agonistes, Longfellow’s Judas Maccabaeus and Fitzgerald’s Omar Khayyam. He also spent two years preparing a unique collection of 94 portraits called a Gallery of Hebrew Poets; 1725–1903. Massel was very much an Anglophile, and wrote a poem for Queen Victoria and an ‘Ode on the Coronation of King Edward VII’ (1902) which, the title page informs us, was "Composed in Hebrew and Translated into Jargon by Joseph Massel."

By the time Weizmann arrived in 1904, Massel was living in a small street of the lower end of Cheetham Hill Road, across from Red Bank and not far from the Central Synagogue. Very much part of Manchester’s Zionist community, he had been a vice-president of the Manchester Zionist Association (MZA) when Dreyfus had amalgamated the various societies in 1902, and by this stage become president of the MZA himself. Massel had attended the First Zionist Congress (Basle, 1897) and had probably met Weizmann at the Second Zionist Congress (Basle, 1898). Showing hospitality that Weizmann never forgot, he collected him from the train station, put him up for the night and helped find accommodation for him the next day. Over the following years, it was the Massel household where Weizmann felt most comfortable, and he tended to visit them on Saturdays and also the Jewish holidays.

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http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/A2A/records.aspx?cat=124-3070&cid=-1#-1

Joseph Massel was born in Mohileco, Wjasin, Gov., Wilno, Russia, in 1850; he was the son of Abraham and Rebecca Massel. After working as secretary to a mining company in Russia, he came to the U.K. c.1887 and after living in Edinburgh for a short while, he settled in Manchester where he set up business as a printer with premises and home in Park Place, Cheetham.

Joseph Massel had daughters Alexandra (born 1878); Bertha (born 1880); Sarah (born 1883) and son Simon (donor's father) born in Edinburgh in 1887. Simon later joined his father's printing business.

Joseph Massel was a keen Zionist. He had belonged to the Chovevei Zion movement in Russia along with his brothers. They had set off for Palestine together but the Turks refused them entry and they were sent to Cyprus. Joseph Massel went on to Britain whilst his brothers went to Australia.

Joseph Massel went as a delegate to the Zionist Congress of 1897.

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http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/10470-massel-joseph

MASSEL, JOSEPH:

   

Russian Jewish Hebraist; born at Ujasin, government of Wilna, 1850. He emigrated to England in the nineties and settled at Manchester, where he opened a printing and publishing office. Massel has translated and published the following works: "Ha-Rokel," a novel, translated from the German (Warsaw, 1886); "Shimshon ha-Gibbor," a translation of Milton's "Samson Agonistes" (Manchester, 1895); "Mi-Kenaf ha-'Areẓ," original poems, and translations from the English (ib. 1898); "Dibre Aḥiḳar," translation of "Ahikar the Wise " (ib. 1898); "Yehudah ha-Makkabi," a translation of Longfellow's "Judas Maccabeus" (ib. 1900). He has published also "Ha-Maḳhelah," a collection of Hebrew poets from 1725 to 1903 (London, 1903).

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http://www.jhse.org/book/export/article/17665

Joseph Massel seems to have acted as the colony's reporter, for he supplied information on its progress to Hamagid, the Hebrew newspaper.

Perhaps we can here say a little about Joseph Massel, who will have been known to a number of people still living. He was born in Ujasin, Vilna, in 1850, and died in Manchester, aged 62, in 1912. There is some confusion in the reference books about the date of his coming to England; the Jewish Encyclopedia52 says 'the nineties', the obituary notice in the Jewish Chronicle53 says 1882, which is probably right. From the evidence above, he was also in Latakia in 1882, in Cyprus in 1883, and in London in 1884. Apparently in that year, he returned to Russia for the family he said he had left there (see above), and he must have migrated again to Britain in 1884 or 1885, after his daughter Sarah had been born. Miss Sarah Massel, the family tell me,54 was born abroad, but her brother Simon, two years younger, was born in Edinburgh in 1886. The family had arrived in Scotland via Leith, which was how they came to be for a time in Edinburgh. They then moved to Manchester,55 where Joseph Massel became very well known as a Hebrew printer and publisher, as well as poet, a Warden of the New Synagogue, founded in 1889, and a fervent Zionist, attending the First, Second, and Third Zionist Congresses (1897, 1898, and 1899) as one of the British delegates. It must have been at these Congresses that the much younger Chaim Weizmann, born 1874, struck up a friendship with Massel, for Weizmann, in relating in his autobiography56 how he came as a stranger to Manchester in 1904, says that Massel, who showed him many kindnesses, was the only man he knew there, but gives no indication of how he came to know him. Massel also had connections with a London publishing firm called Greenberg and Co., of Chancery Lane, for whom he printed and edited at least one book, Gallery of Hebrew Poets (1903). Greenberg was the Leopold J. Greenberg who became Hon. Secretary of the English Zionist Federation, an opponent of Weizmann, and in 1907, till his death in 1932, Editor of the Jewish Chronicle. Zionism was a feature of the Massel household, and as early as 1900 the daughter Bertha (later Mrs. Bertha Ryness, of Nottingham) was the Hon. Secretary of the Manchester Daughters of Zion, with Mrs. Goldstone, a founder, as President.57 After his death, Joseph's printing business was carried on by his son Simon, who lived for a time in Palestine.

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Joseph Ezekiel Massel's Timeline

1850
1850
Belarus
1878
1878
Age 28
1880
1880
Age 30
Belarus
1886
1886
Age 36
Edinburgh, City of Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom
1912
1912
Age 62
Manchester, Greater Manchester, UK
????
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