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Israel Marks (Mark) Feinberg (1883–1976)

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Israel Marks (Mark) Feinberg (1883-1976) boxmaker, Social Democrat, IWW member and Labor activist 

Birth: 10 September 1883 at Jerusalem, Palestine (now in Israel), son of Elias Feinberg (c.1861-1929), paper box manufacturer, and Rachel, née Glotzer or Glazer (1862-1933). Marriage: 6 January 1911 in the Government Statist office, Melbourne, Victoria, to native-born Maggie [Margart] Louisa Mitchell, known as Abbott (1886-1955), a dressmaker. They had a son and a daughter. Death: 14 November 1976 at Melbourne. Religion: Jewish by birth. 

  • Arrived in Melbourne with his parents in his youth. May have been the prizetaker “Marks Feinberg” at the Boys School, Sydney Jewish Education Board, December 1895.
  • Was a member of the Victorian Socialist League, then Social Democratic Party (1902). Particularly influenced by Tom Mann and by fellow SDP activists Frank Hyett, Syd Toohey, Fred Katz, Phil Halfpenny and others.
  • Instrumental in formation of Melbourne Group of Australian Socialist League 1906; then Socialist Labour Party 1907.
  • In 1908 was a co-founder of Melbourne club of Industrial Workers of the World. After IWW split, he joined Workers' International Industrial Union. Prominent in educational and propaganda work of WIIU and Victorian Labour College.
  • Active anti-conscriptionist during World War I. He joined Australian Labor Party in 1930s. Stood as Labor candidate for Victorian Legislative Assembly seat of St Kilda in 1937.
  • Active member of Melbourne branch of Australian Society for the Study of Labour History.

Verity Burgmann, In Our Time: Socialism and the Rise of Labor, 1885-1905, (Sydney, 1985). Recorder, No. 85, December 1976; Tribune (Sydney), 1 December 1976.

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'Feinberg, Israel Marks (Mark) (1883–1976)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 30 May 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]


10 September, 1883
Jerusalem, Israel


14 November, 1976 (aged 93)
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Cultural Heritage

Includes subject's nationality; their parents' nationality; the countries in which they spent a significant part of their childhood, and their self-identity.

Religious Influence

Includes the religion in which subjects were raised, have chosen themselves, attendance at religious schools and/or religious funeral rites; Atheism and Agnosticism have been included.

Key Organisations
Political Activism