Monday, 30 March 2015

SHIMEN-GERSHON BERNSHTEYN (SIMON BERNSTEIN)

SHIMEN-GERSHON BERNSHTEYN (SIMON BERNSTEIN) (August 8, 1882-December 19, 1962)
He was born in Yakobshtadt (Ekabpils), Courland.  In 1900 he moved to Berlin, and he studied at university there as well as at the liberal [reform] rabbinical seminary.  In 1906 he received his doctorate of philosophy in Bern.  From his student days, he was active as a speaker and a writer in the Zionist movement.  During WWI, he served as secretary of the evacuated Zionist bureau in Copenhagen; and after the war he was with the Zionist organization in London.  In 1922 he arrived in the United States.  He published in: Dos yidishe folk (The Jewish people), Tsukunft (Future), Di naye varhayt (The new truth), and Tog (Day)—in New York; and contributed to Hebrew periodicals in America and to Zionist periodicals in Russian, German, English, and Danish.  Among his books, he translated into Yiddish and added his own introduction to Theodor Herzl’s Der yudenshtat (The Jewish state; original: Der Judenstaat) (New York, 1927), 96 pp.  His Hebrew works include: Beḥazon hadorot (In the vision of the generations) [New York, 1928], 223 pp.; Shomre haḥomot (Watchmen of the walls) [Tel Aviv, 1937], 192 pp.; Divan lerabi yehuda-arye mimodena (Poems of R. Yehuda-Arye of Modena) [Philadelphia, 1932], 258 pp.; Divan lerabi imanuel ben david franses (Poems of R. Imanuel ben David Francis) [Tel Aviv, 1932], 304 pp.; Mishire yisrael beitaliya (Poems of Israel in Italy) [Jerusalem, 1938], 183 pp.; Paytanim ufiutim ḥadashim mehatekufa habitsantinit (New poets and poetry from the Byzantine era); Divan shelomo ben meshulam (Poems of Solomon ben Meshullam) [New York, 1942], and others.  He edited: Yidishe folks-shtime (Voice of the Jewish people), organ of the Scandinavian Zionist Association, Copenhagen; 1922-1953, Dos yidishe folk, organ of the Zionist Organization in America; in Hebrew, the journal Hatoren (The mast), the jubilee volume Collection of Essays on the Occasion of the Fiftieth Birthday of Abraham Goldberg [in Hebrew and English: New York, 1934], and Sefer hashana leyehude amerika (Yearbook for American Jews) (together with Menaḥem Ribalov).  He used the follow pseudonyms: Shegev, Elgavish (meteor), and Refaelov.  His important research work in Yiddish concerning Spinoza was published in the Forverts (Forward).

Source: M. Ivenski, in Tsukunft (1928); H. L. Gordon, in Morgn-zhurnal (July 5, 1936 and August 6, 1939); P. Ḥurgin, in Hadoar (1929); Kitve pinḥas turberg (The writings of Philip Turberg) (New York, 1952), pp. 153-58; Sh. Feygin, in Tsukunft (1935); A. Koralnik, in Tog (June 18, 1932); M. Ribalov, in Hadoar (Kislev, 1940); Moyshe Shtarkman, in Tog (November 8, 1938).


Thursday, 26 March 2015

TSVI-HIRSH BERNSHTEYN (ZVI-HIRSCH BERNSTEIN)

TSVI-HIRSH BERNSHTEYN (ZVI-HIRSCH BERNSTEIN) (March 23, 1846-August 1907)
He was born in Nayshtot-Shirvint (Rus. Vladislavov), Suvalk district, Russia, into a family of means.  He received a traditional education.  He was a businessman, scholar, and follower of the Jewish Enlightenment movement, a son-in-law of the Kalvarier rabbi, and an uncle of the Anglo-Jewish journalist Herman Bernshteyn.  He was the author of “Devarim aḥedim al davar hayehudim vehayahadut lifne shloshim vearba shana” (A few word concerning the Jews and Judaism after thirty-four years [resident in America]), Yalkut maaravi (The western collection) (New York, 1904); as well as of a Hebrew booklet aimed at Yaakov Bachrach: Sefer hayiḥus likhtov ashur (The book of pedigree for confirmation) and A matematishe tabele far sokhrim (A mathematical table for businessmen).  Early on he began publishing in Hakarmel (The garden-land), Halevanon (Lebanon), and Hamagid (The preacher), among others.  He was a friend of Perets Smolenskin.  He came to the United States at age twenty-four and served as a correspondent for the Hebrew press in Europe.  In his correspondence pieces, he defended “the tens of thousands” of Polish Jewish immigrants vis-à-vis the malevolent fabrications of German Jews, also immigrants.  He supported Jewish emigration to America: “America is a wide open country, and even if all the Jews in Poland were to come here, no one would even notice,” he wrote in one of his correspondence essays.
When in 1870 the Franco-Prussian War erupted, Bernshteyn recognized an opportunity to bring out a newspaper in New York in Yiddish, and in August 1870 he founded Di post (The mail).  Its first editor was the Hebrew writer Zvi Gershuni, who was also the newspaper’s compositor.  The second editor was the writer and compositor M. Y. Yohalemshteyn.  This was the first, published, Yiddish-language periodical work in the United States.  The newspaper—for which Bernshteyn had to import Yiddish movable type from Vilna—initially had great success and sold some 4,000 copies, but half a year later it was discontinued and not a single copy of it has since been found.
With the discontinuation of Di post, Bernshteyn and Jacob Cohen, who played an important part on the East Side in the Democratic Party, began publishing a quatrilingual newspaper in Yiddish, Hebrew, German, and English which they titled Hebrew News.  The first issue, with thirty-two pages, appeared on April 5, 1871.  It had a small circulation and was published with the electoral aims connected to Cohen’s candidacy.  When he lost, the newspaper ceased publication with its thirteenth number on April 14, 1872.  The Hebrew News published the first Yiddish poetry in America.  In its first issue was a poem entitled “Yidishe romantik” (Jewish romance), which may be seen as the very first Yiddish poem published in the United States.  Bernshteyn also brought out the first Hebrew serial in the United States: Hatsofe baarets haḥadasha (Spectator in a new land), launched June 1871.  It continued until 1876 with some long interruptions.  Its editor was the same Yohalemshteyn.  Bernshteyn was also involved with banking business.  He lost his holdings in the Yiddish theater, as owner of the “Romanian Opera House” in New York.  Toward the end of his life, he lived in the Catskill Mountains in Tannersville, New York.

Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 1; Kalmen Marmor, Der onhoyb fun der yidisher literatur in amerike (The beginning of Yiddish literature in America) (New York, 1940), see index; Joseph Chaikin, Yidishe bleter in amerike (Yiddish newspapers in America) (New York, 1946), pp. 52-53; E. Shulman, Geshikhte fun der yidisher literatur in amerike (History of Yiddish literature in America) (New York, 1943), pp. 33-34; Shulman, Geshikhte fun der yidisher arbeter bavegung in amerike (History of the Jewish labor movement in America), vols. 1 and 2 (New York, 1944), see index; Shmuel Niger, in Tsukunft (January 1940); N. B. Minkov, in Tsukunft (April 1954); Moyshe Shtarkman,


Wednesday, 25 March 2015

TSVI BERNSHTEYN (ZVI BERNSTEIN)

TSVI BERNSHTEYN (ZVI BERNSTEIN) (1914-1993)
He was born in Lithuania and studied in a yeshiva.  He was a leader in the Mizraḥi Workers Party.  From 1935 he was living in Palestine, where he served as secretary of this organization in Haifa.  He was past editor of Dos yidishe vort (The Yiddish word), a weekly serial in Lithuania.

Source: Who Is Who in Israel (1952), p. 152.


E.-D. BERNSHTEYN

E.-D. BERNSHTEYN

He was living in London in the early twentieth century.  In 1904, the publishing house of R. Mazin, which sought to bring out every two weeks a volume of “novels in installments,” published the “most interesting and edifying novel”: Di geheymnise fun yam hagodl, froyen als matrozen (The secret of the Mediterranean Sea, women as sailors), “freely adapted by Vidi Bernshteyn” (115 pp.).  The same publisher brought out Bernshteyn’s Eyne vunderbare rayze arum di velt, amor un vesta (A wonderful trip around the world, the Amour and Vesta) (London, 1898) [a translation of Jules Verne, Around the World in Eighty Days].  The language of both of these entertaining novels is strongly Germanized.

YITSKHOK BERNSHTEYN (IGNATZ BERNSTEIN)

YITSKHOK BERNSHTEYN (IGNATZ BERNSTEIN) (1836-Januray 23, 1909)
He was born in Vinitse (Vinnytsa), Podolia.  His father Shimshon was a wealthy sugar manufacturer, a follower of the Jewish Enlightenment movement, and a major philanthropist.  His family settled in Warsaw in 1856.  In 1859 Bernshteyn was in Berlin, and he by chance came upon a collection of sayings concerning Jews.  This elicited a certain interest in him, and he began to collect Jewish sayings and relevant literature concerned with sayings.  He amassed 4,780 such expressions in 100 languages.  In 1900 he published a two-volume catalogue of his collection, which was ranked among the very best masterpieces in this genre.  He left the collection in his will to the Polish Academy of Science in Cracow, which did not even express its “gratitude” by mentioning his name in its biographical handbook.  A portion of his collection of Jewish sayings was published by Mordechai Spektor—2,056 from the two volumes—in his Hoyz fraynd (House friend, 1888-1889).  In 1908 there was published in Leipzig a magnificent edition of his Yudishe shprikhverter un redensarten (Jewish sayings and proverbs)—in the Yiddish original and a Romanized transcription, with commentary and explanations, and with an index in Yiddish as well as a glossary of Hebrew words in German.  He was assisted in this work by Binyumen Zeger and Dr. Shmuel Poznanski.  This monumental and epoch-making edition was “dedicated to the Jewish people” and included nearly 4,000 sayings.  Spektor published a popular edition of solely Yiddish text in Warsaw in 1908, and a second edition of this work appeared from Tsentral Publishers, also in Warsaw, in 1912.  In 1948 a photo-offset edition of the Yiddish text (329 pp.) was published in New York.  As a manuscript Bernshteyn in 1908 published 227 obscene sayings under the title “Erotica et Rustica,” which was later reissued twice.  He died in Brussels and was buried back in Warsaw.
Bernshteyn was one of the greatest charity and culture patrons in Warsaw.  The Judaic Library in Warsaw (at the Great Synagogue on Tłomackie St.) had much for which to thank him.  His contribution to Jewish ethnography has been analyzed by N. Vaynig in Yivo-bleter (Leaves from YIVO) 8 (1935), pp. 361-63, and by Nokhum Sokolov in Rocznik zydowski (Jewish yearbook) (Lemberg, 1912), pp. 122-28.  The most important bibliography for Bernshteyn can be found in Y. Shatski, Geshikhte fun yidn in varshe (History of the Jews in Warsaw), vol. 3 (New York, 1953), pp. 325-28.




Yekhezkil Keytelman

YITSKHOK BERNSHTEYN

YITSKHOK BERNSHTEYN (1900-1943)
He born in Plotsk (Płock), Poland, descended from a distinguished Hassidic family.  He attended a religious primary school, a yeshiva, and a public high school.  He studied humanities and law at Warsaw University.  In 1939 he was in Plotsk and Warsaw.  He was a teacher of Jewish religion in a Polish-Jewish state school, and he was active in Zionist circles.  He wrote “Dos problem fun takhles bay yidishe un poylishe kinder” (The problem of practical purpose for Jewish and Polish children), in Shriftn far psikhologye un pedagogik (Writings on psychology and pedagogy), vol. 1, pp. 179-256; and he published important articles in Yivo-bleter (Leaves from YIVO) (Vilna, 1931-1933)—among them: “Der tsaytikungs-peryod in lebn fun undzere klasiker” (The maturation period in the lives of our classic writers).  During the German invasion of Poland, he took part in various literary undertakings in the Warsaw Ghetto until mid-1941.  He was one of the coworkers with Dr. Emanuel Ringelblum.  In the unearthed Ringelblum archive, there was discovered, among much else, an essay by Bernshteyn (he called it a poem), entitled Hunger un varshe (Hunger in Warsaw), typewritten, 32 pp.  The poem evokes images of Jewish life in the ghetto, “which are shocking documents of the time” (B. Mark).  He was also the author of a booklet entitled Di yidishe literatur un visnshaft far der idey fun malkhes-yisroel (Yiddish literature and scholarship on the idea of the kingdom of Israel) (Warsaw, 1935), 16 pp.; and Der ruf fun neviim tsum hayntikn dor (The call of the prophets to the contemporary generation) (Warsaw, 1937), 137 pp.  He was murdered during one “Aktion” in the Warsaw Ghetto in early 1943.

Sources: Dr. Emanuel Ringelblum, Notitsn fun varshover geto (Notices from the Warsaw Ghetto) (Warsaw, 1952), p. 25; Ber Mark, Umgekumene shrayber fun di getos un lagern (Murdered writers from the ghettos and camps) (Warsaw, 1954), pp. 112-13; V. H. Ivan, in Yidishe shriftn (Lodz) 10 (1947); Yidishe shriftn 1 (1946).


Y. M. BERNSHTEYN

Y. M. BERNSHTEYN

He was the author of a collection of poetry entitled Zigzagn, lider (Zigzags, poems) (New York, 1934), 63 pp.

HERMAN BERNSHTEYN (BERNSTEIN)

HERMAN BERNSHTEYN (BERNSTEIN) (September 21, 1876-September 1, 1935)
He was born in Nayshtot-Shirvint (Rus. Vladislavov) at the Russian-Prussian border, a grandson of the well-known Yiddish-Hebrew author Tsvi-Hirsh Bernshteyn.  At age eight his family settled in Mohilev, and in 1893 he emigrated to the United States.  He began his literary activities in English in 1899 with a series of short stories in the Evening Post.  In book form, he published In the Gates of Israel, Stories of the Jews (New York, 1902).  He translated into English works by Tolstoy, Chekhov, Gorky, Andreev, and others.  He made a name for himself in the world of American newspapers with articles concerning the condition of Jews in Tsarist Russia, which he visited as a special correspondent for the New York Times.  As the secretary of the American Jewish Committee, he played a role in settling the controversy between Russia and the United States over the question of visas for Jews who were citizens of the United States.  In November 1914 he was one of the founders and the first editor of the newspaper Der tog (The day) in New York, although he alone wrote no Yiddish for it.  He attempted in 1918 to found a new daily Yiddish newspaper, Haynt (Today), which existed only for a few weeks.  He later returned to the English and the English-Yiddish press.  He edited the weekly, The Jewish Tribune, but his correspondence pieces, interviews, and articles usually appeared in Tog.  He wrote an introduction to Mendel Beilis’s book, Di geshikhte fun mayne leydn (The story of my sufferings) (New York, 1931).  He was also editor of the American Hebrew and the American Jewish Yearbook.  For a certain period of time, he served as envoy from the American government in Albania.



Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 1; M. Vaynberg and Y. Margoshes, in the jubilee issue of Tog-morgn-zhurnal (November 14, 1954); A. Eynhorn, in Haynt (Warsaw) (September 27, 1935); Y. Magidov, Der shpigl fun der ist said (The mirror of the East Side) (New York, 1923), pp. 190-96; M. Kats, in Tsukunft (New York) (May 1914), p. 566.


DOVID BERNSHTEYN

DOVID BERNSHTEYN (December 3, 1895-November 16, 1955)

He was born in Kartuz-Bereza, Poland.  He emigrated to the United States in 1920, and after a short sojourn, he returned to Poland.  He was the general secretary of HIAS in Warsaw (1921-1925).  He returned to America and became editorial secretary, later assistant to the news editor, of Morgn-zhurnal (Morning journal).  He wrote articles for it and ran a daily column entitled “Fragn un enfers” (Questions and answers) under the name “B. Shteyn.”  After the Morgn-zhurnal ceased publication, he became a contributor to Forverts (Forward), writing under his own name and under the pen names: D. Boyrns, D. B. Shteyn, and Medikus.  For a time he was a member of the executive of the Y. L. Peretz Writers Association and secretary of the Forverts staff.  He died in New York.

LEYZER (ELIEZER) BERNSHTEYN

LEYZER (ELIEZER) BERNSHTEYN
     He was the author of Epis, literarishe nisyoynes (Something, literary temptations), published by the “Bernshteyn-grupe” (Bernshteyn group) in Zlotshev (Złoczów), Galicia, in 1919 (79 pp.).

AVROM-MOYSHE BERNSHTEYN (ABRAHAM MOSHE BERNSTEIN)

AVROM-MOYSHE BERNSHTEYN (ABRAHAM MOSHE BERNSTEIN) (August 5, 1865-June 16, 1932)
He was born in Shatsk, Minsk region, Byelorussia.  He studied in religious primary schools and yeshivas.  From his early years, he evinced an aptitude for singing and an inclination toward music in general.  At age twenty, he became a choir member under a cantor in Kovno, and at the same time he attended the local music school.  Two years later, he became the choir leader to Cantor Rozovski in Riga, and in 1891 the Vilna reform synagogue Taharat Hakodesh hired him as its first cantor.  He served as cantor there for thirty years.  Over the course of this period of time, he wrote numerous cantorial pieces, a number of which—such as “Hayehi” (It shall be), “Veani tefilati” (And I My Prayer), and “Takanat Shabbat” (Rules of the Sabbath)—were quite popular.  In 1914, with the participation of the larger cantorial musical scene, he published two collections of religious music entitled Avodat habore (Divine prayer).  He was also the first to compose music for the poems of modern Yiddish poets.  In 1893 he published his compositions: Am olam (Eternal people), with text by Mordechai Zvi Mane; Al harere tsiyon (To the mountains of Zion), text by Menakhem Mendel Dolitsky; and Zamd un shtern (Sand and stars), text by Shimen Frug.  The last of these spread extremely widely and was republished in 1916 in New York.  He also published: Zemer lefurim (Purim song), in a supplement to Hatsfira (The times [Warsaw, 1904]); Hot rakhmones (Have compassion), on the occasion of the Kishinev pogrom, text by Shimen Frug, a supplement to Fraynd (Friend [St. Petersburg, 1903]); Tsu hertsls yortsayt (For the anniversary of Herzl’s death)., a supplement to Undzer osed (Our future [Vilna, 1917]); and O, hemerl, hemerl, klop (Oh, little hammer, bang away) for Avrom Reyzen’s “Tsum hemerl” (To a little hammer).  In the 1920s he worked as a teacher of voice in secular Jewish schools in Vilna.  He wrote a textbook for solfeggio (teaching pitch and sight reading of music) and composed over 200 compositions in Yiddish and Hebrew for children’s poems.
He also wrote articles about the cantorial art and Jewish music in such periodicals as: Yarḥon haḥazanim (Cantors’ monthly), Hatsfira, Hazman (The times), Haolam (The world), Undzer osed, Mes-les (Day and night), Tarbut (Culture), Vilner tog (Vilna day), Pinkes (Record) in Vilna, and Khazonim-velt (Cantors’ world) in Vilna.  In 1927 the Vilna Jewish Historical-Ethnographic Society, named for Sh. An-sky, brought out Muzikalisher pinkes: nigunim zamlung fun yidishn folks oytser (Musical records, a collection of melodies from the Jewish folk-treasury), vol. 1: a world-wide collection of folksongs, melodies, Hassidic tunes, and compositions from ancient songs, which Bernshteyn compiled over the course of many years, put together the texts, and wrote explanations as necessary.



Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 1, pp. 367-69; A. Zabludkovski, in Morgn-zhurnal (New York) (July 22, 1932); “Fun vokh tsu vokh” (From week to week), Literarishe bleter (Warsaw) 26 (1932); Z. Shik (Szyk), 1000 yor vilne (1000 years of Vilna), part 1 (Vilna, 1939), p. 460; Alfred Sendrey, Bibliography of Jewish Music (New York, 1951), see index; a full listing of Bernshteyn’s compositions can be found in Khazonishe velt (May 1934); M. Bernshteyn, “Zikhroynes iber mayn bruder” (Memories of my brother), Khazonim-velt (Warsaw) (July 1934); there was a Bernshteyn issue of Khazonim-velt (May 1934).


Monday, 23 March 2015

SHIMEN BERNFELD

SHIMEN BERNFELD (January 7, 1860-March 8, 1940)
He was born in Stanislavov, eastern Galicia.  He was the son of a follower of the Jewish Enlightenment and Hebrew teacher.  He was one of the first to introduce into Hebrew writings scholarly research of a modern sort, and he was the author of dozens of important works in the “science of Judaism.”  For a certain period of time, he wrote in Yiddish and published in Yud (Jew), such as his “Dos folk un zayn inteligents” (The people and their intelligence) 2 (Warsaw, 1900); Fraynd (Friend), such as “Borekh shpinoza” (Baruch Spinoza) (St. Petersburg, 1904); and Dos lebn (The life), such as “Rebeynu moyshe ben maymon” (Rabenu Moshe ben Maimon [Maimonides]) 1 (Warsaw, 1905), among others.  On March 8, 1940, at the age of eighty, he died in Berlin.



Sources: Gershom Bader, Medina veḥakhameha (The state and its sages) (New York, 1934), p. 152; Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 1; Dr. M. Reyzin, Groyse yidn vos ikh hob gekent (Great Jews whom I have known) (New York, 1950), p. 277; Dr. Zvi Wislavsky, Yeḥidim beshut harabim (Individuals in the public domain) (New York, 1943), p. 233; Kh. Vayner, in Tsukunft (New York) (July 1930).


YITSKHOK-ARN (IZYDOR, ISAAC) BERNFELD

YITSKHOK-ARN (IZYDOR, ISAAC) BERNFELD (October 21, 1854-June 2, 1930)
He was born in Tysmenytsia (Tyśmienica), eastern Galicia, the older brother of Dr. Shimen Bernfeld.  He was a teacher of Jewish religion in a state school in Stryi (Stryj), Galicia.  He worked for the Polonization of Jews.  He edited the Hebrew section (Hamazkir [The scribe]) of the Polish-Hebrew periodical Ojczyzna (Fatherland), 1881-1886; and he authored Hebrew-Polish dictionaries and a Polish grammar in Yiddish.



Sources: Gershom Bader, Medina veḥakhameha (The state and its sages) (New York, 1934), p. 152; Zalmen Reyzen, in Jubilee publication for Keneder odler (January 30, 1938); Dr. Y. Shatski, in Yivo-bleter 23 (1944), p. 132; Polski słownik biograficzny (Polish biographical dictionary) (Cracow, 1930).


Sunday, 22 March 2015

L. BERNSON

L. BERNSON
He published poetry in Yidisher herald (Jewish herald), beginning in January 1890, in New York.  The editor at the time was Getsl Zelikovitsh.

Source: K. Marmor, Der onhoyb fun der yidisher literatur in amerike (The beginning of Yiddish literature in America) (New York, 1940), p. 36.


PINKHES BERNIKER

PINKHES BERNIKER (April 12, 1908-1956)
He was born in Lyubtsh (Lubtsha, Lubča), Byelorussia.  His father, Shmuel, was the local rabbi.  He studied in religious primary school, as well as in the yeshivas of Navaredok (Navahrudak), Eyshishok (Eišiškės), and Vilna.  He graduated from the Hebrew high school of Dr. Epstein in Vilna and from the pedagogical course offered by Tarbut.  He worked as a teacher.  In 1925 he emigrated to Cuba, where he served as a teacher in the Havana Jewish School.  His first publication (1927) was a sketch which appeared in Amerikaner (American).  He published stories in Keneder odler (Canadian eagle), as well as a series of pedagogical articles in Dos kind (The child) in Warsaw.  Late in 1931 he moved to the United States.  He published stories and articles in Forverts (Forward), Tog (Day), Yidisher kemfer (Jewish fighter), Kinder-zhurnal (Children’s magazine), and Meksikaner shriftn (Mexican writings), as well as in the Warsaw publications: Ekspres (Express), Dos naye vort (The new word), and Literarishe bleter (Literary leaves).  He also wrote in Hebrew.  In Havana, he edited (as head of a board) Kubaner yontef bleter (Cuban holiday leaves) and Oyfgang (Arise) (forty issues).  Among his books: Shtile lebns, dertseylungen (Quiet lives, stories) (Vilna, 1935), 228 pp.; Ershte trit (First step), about Jewish life in Cuba, was to be published in the late summer of 1939 in Vilna by Kletskin Farlag, but with the outbreak of WWII, the manuscript was lost.  Only a few chapters were published in Meksikaner shriftn (Mexican writings) in 1937 and thereafter in Havaner lebn (Havana life) in 1944.  Berniker’s Hanukkah play A nes (A miracle) was published in New York by Vaad hameḥankhim haivrim lemaan erets yisrael haovedet.  He was living in Rochester, where he worked as the director of a Talmud-Torah.

Sources: Dos yidishe vort (special issue, dedicated to Pinkhes Berniker) (Havana) (December 1931); Y. Botoshanski, in Di prese (Buenos Aires) (January 9, 1936); Literarishe bleter (Warsaw) (March 13, 1936); M. Glikovski, in Veg (Mexico) (September 6, 1936); Ts. Tarlovski, in Dos naye vort (Warsaw) (October 11, 1935); D. Tsharni (Charney), Literarishe bleter (Warsaw) (March 13, 1936); Dr. A. Mukdoni, in Morgn-zhurnal (New York) (March 11, 1936); M. Melamed, in Yidishe velt (Philadelphia) (February 9, 1936); Dr. Sh. Shteyman, in Yidisher kemfer (New York) (May 6, 1936); G. Pomerants, in Fraye arbeter shtime (New York) (December 18, 1936); Y. Kisin, in Forverts (New York) (March 22, 1936); Sh. Rabinovitsh, in Tsukunft (New York) (June 1937).

[Additional information from: Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), cols. 109-10.]


KHAYIM BERNIKER

KHAYIM BERNIKER (b. May 11, 1898)
     He was born in Lyubtsh (Lubtsha, Lubča), Byelorussia, into an affluent family.  He studied in religious primary school, later in the yeshivas of Mir, Eyshishok (Eišiškės), Radun’, and Navaredok (Navahrudak).  He later became acquainted with the literature of the Jewish Enlightenment and began to acquire a secular education.  Following the outbreak of WWI, he set on a career in teaching.  In 1919 he opened a “cheder metukan” (improved religious elementary school) in Eyshishok, and he later attended the two-year Vilna pedagogical course of study and became a teacher in the Vilna Talmud-Torah.  Over the years 1922-1924, he taughter Hebrew in the Jewish schools in Zhetel (Zdzięcioł), Mir, and Zambrove (Zambrow).  In April 1924 he emigrated to Havana, Cuba, and there he became a teacher in the Jewish school at the [Yiddish Cultural] Center.  In 1929 he moved to Canada where he worked as a teacher in religious schools and served as a Mizrachi leader.  He began writing while still in Vilna, and he was later a pioneer of the published Yiddish word in Cuba: In March 1925 he brought out the first Yiddish periodical there, Dos fraye vort (The free word), printed on a typewriter in ten copies.  The unexpected success of the magazine made it possible to reprint this issue in ninety copies.  Nine issues of this serial appeared.  Berniker wrote articles there concerned with a variety of matters.  In 1927 he, together with his brother Pinkhes and Tsvi Shapiro, brought out the first published Yiddish anthology in Cuba: Kubaner yidishe yontev bleter (Cuban Jewish holiday leaves), 44 pp.  He was also the editor of the first Yiddish book in Cuba, Kubaner liber (Cuban poems) by Leyzer Aronovski (Havana, 1928), 210 pp.  Berniker also published articles in Keneder odler (Canadian eagle), the Zhurnal (Journal) of Toronto, and Dos yidishe vort (The Yiddish word) in Winnipeg.  He wrote under such pseudonyms as: Kh. Borekhyahu, Kh. B., Knahles, Ben-Shimen, and Ish Pashut.

Leyzer Ran

MEYER BERNHOLTS

MEYER BERNHOLTS (b. 1901)
He was born in the village of Majdan, Plock region, Poland.  He studied in a religious elementary school, a yeshiva, and Tachkemoni Rabbinical Seminary.  At age eighteen he began to attend to his secular education.  He later graduated from the Warsaw state seminary for Jewish teachers.  He was a contributor to Hatsfira (The times).  In 1922 he became a contributor to Haynt (Today) in Warsaw, in which he published daily feature pieces and impressions, mostly under the pseudonym “Selim.”  In 1925 he was one of the editors of Shprotsungen (Sprouts), organ of beginning writers in Poland, in which he published short stories.  He also contributed to Hayom (Today).  He died amid the Nazi massacres.

Sources: R. Feldshuh, Yidisher gezelshaftlekher leksikon (Jewish communal handbook), vol. 1 (Warsaw, 1939); B. Mark, Umgekumene shrayber fun di getos un lagern (Murdered writers from the ghettos and camps) (Warsaw, 1954).


BOREKH BERNARD

BOREKH BERNARD (April 15, 1901-February 26, 1953)
This was the adopted name of Borekh Grinberg, born in Brisk (Brest), Lithuania.  His father, Shmuel-Yoyel (son of R. Yeshehayu of Kamenits, a town near Brisk), died when he was young, and his mother, who was much younger than her husband, saw that he had a traditional Jewish education.  He received no systematic secular education.  In 1921 he moved to the United States, where he engaged in business.  In 1930, Kletskin Publishers in Vilna brought out his first dramatic work, Yehuda Tanakhi (a comedy in four acts), 100 pp., with a motto: “The Jewish Agency, a smile.”  It was to have been published in 1928 in Vilna with the subtitle, “Der nayer meshiekh” (The new Messiah).  According to A. Mukdoni (in Morgn zhurnal [Morning journal]), this work “brought forth the idea of a false Messiah…a modern Shabetai Zvi….  The play is one of a kind.”  The author’s name on this work was given as Bernard Borekh Grinberg.  His second work (still signed “Grinberg”) appeared in 1931 in Vilna: A yidishe tragedye, drame in dray aktn (A Jewish tragedy, a drama in three acts), 160 pp., which Bloch Publishing Co. brought out in an English translation (New York, 1934) with the author’s name now given as “Baruch Bernard.”  In 1933 Farlag Mizrekh in New York published his Yehuda tanakhis heldn-lebn (Yehuda Tanakhi’s heroic life), 95 pp., a long poem in three parts.  The book only contained the first part, and it was dedicated “to a beautiful, noble soul, to Anna R. Katsner” (his wife).  Writing in Morgn-zhurnal, P. Viernik wrote of this work: “An intensive, lyrical expression….  It sets a tone on a level of poetic beauty with Friedrich Nietzsche and Walt Whitman.”  On the last page of the book, there is enumerated a list of other works by him: Der kholets (The pioneer), “a drama in four acts and four scenes” (New York: Farlag Nehhemye, 1927), 128 pp.; Rebe rov ber, der gefalener (Rebbe R. Ber, the fallen man), “a dramatic poem”; Biznes, komedye (Business, a comedy), a “drama” in three acts (New York, 1936); Penelope, a one-act play for children.  In 1937 “Di feder” (The pen) publishing house, an imprint of the journal Di feder, in New York brought out Bankrot (Bankrupt), a “drama in three acts” (107 pp.).  From to time, Bernard published articles in Morgn-zhurnal in New York.  He visited Israel in 1947.  His wife continued to live in New York after his death.

Sources: Jüdische Rundschau 7 (1926); D. Vinograd, in The Jewish Forum (New York) (January 1935) concerning Di yidishe tragedye which appeared in a special imprint; M. Dantsis, in Der tog (New York) (February 15, 1947); Haolam haze (Jerusalem), no. 511.



Friday, 20 March 2015

YANKEV (JAKUB) BERNAS

YANKEV (JAKUB) BERNAS
By 1873 he had a well established factory for mirrors, frames, and various leather goods in Warsaw.  He was the publisher (the actual editor as well, according to Y. Shatski) in 1889 of Varshaver yudisher kalendar (Warsaw Jewish calendar).  Encouraged by the success that Goldfaden’s Shulamis had on the Yiddish stage in those years, and by the enthusiastic response to it in the Warsaw Polish press, Bernas translated it into Polish.  The Izraelita (Israelite) strongly commended the translation.  He also published Goldfaden’s poetry.  In 1891 he published Der yudisher handels-kalendar (The Jewish business calendar)—“a historical-literary-scientific book”—which he, presumably, edited by himself and in which he published an original or translated work: “Hypnotism and Magnetism.”  In the same year he edited and published Gustav Makman’s Di geheymnise fon yener velt (The mysteries of the other world) (Warsaw: N. A. Yakobi, 1891), 132 pp.  He later moved to Paris where he owned a publishing house.  In 1895 he was the editor and publisher of the weekly journal Hatikvah (The hope) which appeared in Paris with interruptions until 1897.  Bernas translated and published in Yiddish the speeches given at the third Zionist congress in Basel by Dr. Herzl, Max Nordau, and Dr. Gaster (Paris, 1899), 46 pp.  In 1925 his publishing house brought out Volf Shpayzer’s Der yud in frankraykh (The Jew in France)—“the newest method for teaching oneself French” (Paris, 144 pp.), and it is an educated guess that Bernas was himself the author of this work.

Sources: Ben-Tamar (Y. L. Peretz), “Der yidisher handels-kalendar,” in Yidishe biblyotek (Yiddish library), vol. 2 (Warsaw, 1891); Dr. Y. Shatski, Geshikhte fun yidn in varshe (History of Jews in Warsaw), vol. 3 (New York: YIVO, 1953); Shatski, Hundert yor goldfaden (A century of Goldfaden) (New York: YIVO, 1940); Ben-Avigdor, “Misefer zikhronoti” (From a volume of my memoirs), Hatsfira (Warsaw) 2 (1917); Z. Sheykovski, “150 yor yidishe prese in frankraykh” (150 years of the Yiddish press in France), in Yidn in frankraykh (Jews in France), vol.1 (New York: YIVO, 1942)


SHIMEN BERMAN

SHIMEN BERMAN (1818-January 26, 1884)
     Born in Cracow, his father was an overseer of the forests of R. Berish Mayzles, the rabbi of Cracow at the time.  Raised in a village in the woods, from his youth he evinced a love for agriculture.  He married at age twenty-three and lived in Cracow where he engaged in the timber business.  From 1848 he was living in Groysvardeyn (German, Großwardein; Hungarian, Nagyvárad), Hungary; in 1851 he returned to Cracow, and from there he tried to found a Jewish colony on uncultivated land in Hungary.  From 1852 he was in New York where he was involved with business and agitated for Jewish immigration from Galicia to be devoted to agriculture.  In 1853 he was in Cincinnati where he published a call for the same in the local German press.  In the United States, Berman worked as a rabbi, cantor, ritual slaughterer, and mohel.  In 1866, during the cholera epidemic, his wife and children died.  In 1870 he moved to England where he attempted to interest Moses Montefiore in a plan to help create Jewish colonies in Palestine.  He then moved on to Paris in an effort to pursue the same with the Association of All Jews Are Friends.  During the Franco-Prussian War, Berman established connections with the group “Drishat Tsiyon” (Quest for Zion) of R. Zvi Kalischer in Berlin, and from there he traveled on to Budapest and Cracow.  In 1871 he made aliya to Palestine, and there he tried to settle Jews in the village of Abu Shusha near Tiberias.  When he did not succeed at this effort as well, Berman left the land and traveled across Europe and everywhere preached a return to Zion; and when everything ended in failure, he returned to Tiberias where he died and was buried.  He was the author in Yiddish of Seyfer masoes shimen (The travels of Simon) (Cracow, 1879), 297 pp.  He described in this book his travels through Palestine and the possibilities for settling Jews there.

Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 1; D. Tidhar, in Entsiklopedyah lealutse hayishuv uvonav (Encyclopedia of the founders and builders of Israel) (Tel Aviv, 1947-1971), vol. 3, see index; Gershom Bader, Medina veḥakhameha (The state and its sages) (New York, 1934), p. 144; M. Unger, in Yorbukh fun amopteyl fun yivo (Annual from the American branch of YIVO) (New York, 1938); E. R. Malachi, “Shimon Berman,” in the anthology Yisrael (Israel) (New York, 1949), pp. 102-23.


Thursday, 19 March 2015

PAVEL BERMAN

PAVEL BERMAN (January 30, 1873-February 3, 1922)
He was born in the Ponevezh (Panevezys) region.  His father Dmitri was a rich, assimilated innkeeper.  Berman was raised by his grandmother in Ponevezh.  He studied in the local senior high school.  The Bundist leader Tsemakh Kopelzon attracted him to the Bund, and Berman played an important role in the Bundist movement in Vilna and Minsk.  Together with Boris Frumkin, he published Dos arbayter bletl (The worker’s leaf), illegally produced by hectography, from March through August 1897.  This was the first effort to publish in Russia itself an illegal, regularly-appearing newspaper.  In 1898, he assisted as well with the publication of the manifesto of the newly founded social democratic party.  He died in a tramway catastrophe in Petrograd (en route to Narva, Estonia).

Sources: “Di yidishe sotsyalistishe bavegung biz der grindung fun bund” (The Jewish socialist movement until the founding of the Bund), in Historishe shriftn, vol. 3 (Vilna-Paris: YIVO, 1939); John Mill, Pyonern un boyer (Pioneers and builders) (New York, 1946); Sh. Levin, Untererdishe kemfer (Underground fighters) (New York, 1946); F. Kurski, Gezamlte shriftn (Collected writings) (New York, 1952).


LEYB BERMAN

LEYB BERMAN (March 18, 1882-1959)
He was best known under the name Leybetshke.  He was born Libkind—later, due to political circumstances in Tsarist Russia, he lived with a fake pass bearing the name Yisroel-Moyshe Berman, and formally retained this name.
He was born in a small town in the Kovno region of Lithuania.  Soon thereafter, however, he moved with his parents to Dvinsk (Daugavpils).  He grew up in poverty and want.  Until age twelve he studied in the Dvinsk state Talmud-Torah.  He then went to apprentice with a carpenter.  At age sixteen or seventeen he left to work as a carpenter and adopted a stance with the Bund.  In the autumn of 1902 he moved to Warsaw where he took part (January 1903) in the demonstration at the Opera Theater.  From Warsaw he was sent for illegal party work to Ekaterinoslav, Ukraine; he was arrested, placed in a dungeon, and began a hunger strike in prison.  He was one of the founders of the Bund’s “B. O.” (boyevoy otryad [armed struggle detachment]).  He served as a delegate to the seventh congress of the Bund in Switzerland (1906).  In those years he began writing correspondence pieces for the illegal Bundist press.  In 1908 he began specializing in carpentry for the Vilna society “Help Through Work,” in 1910 he became an instructor in the carpentry division of the Vilna artisans’ school, and in 1912 he was send by YIKO (Jewish Cultural Organization) to Germany to perfect his carpentry craft.  He published a series of articles in the Warsaw serial Fraynd (Friend), entitled “Arbets-fragn” (Labor issues).  He also wrote the volume Di tishler-arbet, vikhtike yedies far yudishe stolyares (The joiner’s work, important information for Jewish carpenters) (St. Petersburg, 1913), 72 pages of text, drawings, and figures (an enlarged edition appeared as Mebl-arbet [Furniture work], 162 pages of text with 99 pages of illustrations [Warsaw, 1929]).  This is the sole volume in Yiddish on the carpentry trade.
In 1915 Berman was sent by YIKO to Odessa to found an evening course for carpenters.  During the years of the Russian Revolution, 1917-1918, he threw himself further into politics, edited the Bundist Odessa weekly Der glok (The bell), and at the eighth congress of the Bund in December 1917 in Petrograd he was elected to the central committee of the party.  In 1922 he left Soviet Russia and settled in Warsaw, where he founded the master workshop for artistic furniture and the evening course for adult carpenters at ORT (Association for the Promotion of Skilled Trades), while editing its periodic trade newspaper for carpenters—the only writing of its kind in Yiddish.  During this same time, he wrote articles and memoirs for Undzer gedank (Our idea) in Vilna, and Folkstsaytung (People’s newspaper), Vokhnshrift far literatur (Weekly writing for literature), and the anthology 25 yor (Twenty-five years)—all in Warsaw.  In 1936 his book In loyf fun yorn, zikhroynes fun a yidishn arbeter (Over the course of years, the memoirs of a Jewish worker) was published in Warsaw (415 pp.).  Over the years 1936-1937 his book was serialized in Forverts (Forward) in New York, and in 1947 it was republished in book form in New York.  In 1939 Berman escaped from Warsaw with his daughter, and traveling through Russia and Japan arrived in the United States in 1940.  His wife Rute remained in Warsaw, where she gave her life in illegal Bundist work.  In New York Berman published articles on various topics in Forverts, Der veker (The alarm), and Unzer tsayt (Our time).

Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 2, pp. 195-96; “Noyekh,” foreword to In loyf fun yorn (Warsaw, 1936), pp. 5-6; R. Abramovitsh, preface to In loyf fun yorn (Warsaw, 1936), pp. 7-10; Sh. Rabinovitsh, in Tsukunft (December 1936); Z. Sher, in Tsukunft (June 1946); P. Shvarts, in Der veker (March 1, 1952); Kh. Sh. Kazhdan, in Unzer tsayt (October 1952); Shmuel Niger, in Tog (March 14, 1937).


LEYB BERMAN

LEYB BERMAN (March 1, 1887-August 1944)
He was born in Karlin, Pinsk region.  He studied in a religious primary school and in a Talmud Torah.  In 1909 he was living in Lodz and Warsaw.  He served in the Russian military, 1909-1912; later, as a reservist during WWI.  In 1916 he was discharged and moved to Minsk.  He returned to Lodz in 1919 and was self-employed doing calligraphy and giving lessons in Jewish orthography.  His first publications were poems in 1904 in: Tog (Day) in St. Petersburg, Yidishe tsukunft (Jewish future), Telegraf (Telegraph), and Roman tsaytung (Fiction newspaper)—and later in the Bundist press.  He contributed to the following Lodz newspapers: Morgn-blat (Morning newspaper), Folksblat (People’s newspaper), Tageblat (Daily newspaper), and prior to the beginning of WWII in 1939 to Haynt (Today) in Warsaw.  He also wrote children’s poetry and humorous pieces in prose.  He used the pen name “Graf Kali.”  Among his books: Gelekhter durkh trern (Laughter through tears) (Lodz, 1920), 32 pp.; Gezamlte lider (Collected poems) (Lodz, 1935), 64 pp.  He suffered from hunger in the Lodz ghetto, and that prompted him to join in the writing of humorous poems for Litsmanshtater tsaytung (Litzmannstadt newspaper) in August 1944.  During the liquidation of the Lodz ghetto, he was deported to Auschwitz where he was murdered.

Sources: Y. Rabon, in Lodzher tageblat (August 30, 1932); A. Taytelboym, Varshaver hoyf (Warsaw court) (Buenos Aires, 1947), pp. 157-58; Ts. Katsenelson-Nakhumov, Yitskhok katsenelson (Yitskhok Katsenelson) (Buenos Aires, 1949), p. 14.


LEVI BERMAN

LEVI BERMAN (b. April 2, 1895)
He was born in the small settlement in Lithuania known as Pikeln (Pikeliai), into a well-to-do family.  He studied in religious elementary school and in a public school.  From 1911 he was living in Vilna, and in 1915 he left for the United States.  He began writing at age ten and sent poems to Bal-Makhshoves who in an article—in Der fraynd (The friend) in 1910—commended the poet.  However, Bal-Makhshoves radically altered the meaning of Berman’s poem Di ershte megile fun der goyle (The first scroll of the Diaspora) (Vilna, 1913), 112 pp.  In the United States, Berman published in Shriftn (Writings), Tsukunft (Future), and Fraye arbeter shtime (Free voice of labor), among others.


Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 1; Khayim Krol, Arum zikh (Around itself) (Vilna, 1930), p. 68.

ISRAEL BERMAN

ISRAEL BERMAN (December 24, 1877-February 2, 1959)
     He was born in Obodovka (Obodivka), Ukraine.  He studied in a religious primary school and in the synagogue study hall.  He graduated from an eight-level Russian school and from a pedagogical course of study in Kishinev.  He was the founder and teacher there of a Russian school for Jewish children, as well as an active Zionist and leader on behalf of the Hebrew language and its culture.  In 1935 he made aliya with his family to Israel, where he did business in religious texts.  In 1898 he began to publish correspondence pieces for Hamelits (The advocate).  He published current events pieces and stories in: Der morgn (The morning), Der yid (The Jew), Der funk (The spark), and Undzer tsayt (Our time)—all in Kishinev.  He also contributed to the following newspapers and magazines: Davar (Word), Haboker (This morning), Davar hashavua (Word of the week), and Yeda am (Folklore), among others, and he authored stories, novels, and monographs in Hebrew.  He died in Tel Aviv.

Sources: D. Tidhar, in Entsiklopedyah leḥalutse hayishuv uvonav (Encyclopedia of the founders and builders of Israel) (Tel Aviv, 1947-1971), vol. 4, p. 1647; Undzer tsayt (Kishinev) (March 30, 1935); Haaretz (May 30, 1947); Haboker (April 9, 1954).


YITZKHOK BERMAN

YITZKHOK BERMAN

He lived in the Riga ghetto.  When he was seventeen he was sent to a camp in Germany.  In the ghetto he composed a poem entitled “Di zun iz arayn in di volkns” (The sun is in the clouds).  It was published by Refuel Shub in Lider fun di getos un lagern (Poems from the ghettos and camps), compiled by Sh. Katsherginski (New York, 1948), p. 22.

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

YANKEV (JAKUB) BERMAN

YANKEV (JAKUB) BERMAN (December 26, 1901-April 10, 1984)

He was born in Warsaw into a well-to-do household, the brother of Dr. Adolf Berman.  He graduated from a Polish high school and studied at Warsaw University.  For many years he worked with the Jewish Telegraphic Agency in Poland.  During WWII, he escaped to Soviet Russia.  After returning, he became one of the leaders of Poland.  He was a member of the Politburo of the Polish Communist Party as well as Vice-Premier of Poland.  He served on the editorial board (together with Rafael Mahler and Emanuel Ringelblum) of the journal Yunge historiker (Young historians): writings from a seminar in Jewish history at the Jewish Academic Home in Warsaw (Warsaw, 1926).  In it he published “Di oyfgabn fun der historisher sektsye fun yivo” (The publications of the historical section of YIVO) and “Materyaln tsu der geshikhte fun rekhtlekhn matsev fun di yidn in sof 18tn y״h” (Materials for the history of the legal situation of Jews at the end of the eighteenth century).


KHANE (HANNAH) BERMAN

KHANE (HANNAH) BERMAN (1881-1955)
She was born in a town near Kovno, Lithuania.  She moved to England while still young.  Over the course of fifty years, she was active in the realm of Yiddish and English literature.  She published stories and translations of world literature in the Yiddish press in London.  She translated from Yiddish to English works by Y. L. Peretz, Sholem-Aleykhem (Stempenyu), Leyb Malakh’s Don domingos kraytsveg (Don Domingo’s crossroads), and a series of novellas by younger Yiddish writers.  She died lonely and forlorn in a town near London.

Source: Sh. Y. Dorfzon, in Dorem-afrika (January 1956).


BASHE BERMAN (née TEMKIN)

BASHE BERMAN (née TEMKIN) (August 21, 1907-April 30, 1953)
She was married to Adolf Berman.  She descended from an eminent Hassidic family in Warsaw.  She was a librarian by profession and was active in Poale-Tsiyon, one of the leaders of the underground “Jewish National Committee” during the Nazi occupation of Warsaw.  From 1950 she was living in Israel.  Before WWII, she had published Di yidishe biblyotekn fun varshe in likht fun tsifern (The Jewish libraries of Warsaw in light of statistics), as well as articles in the Yiddish and Polish press after liberation.  In Arbeter tsaytung (Workers’ newspaper), organ of the left Poale-Tsiyon in Warsaw (issue 4-5, 1946), she published memoirs entitled “Tsvey shvester” (Two sisters), a story of struggle and self-sacrifice.  In the section on Warsaw in Entsiklopediya shel galut (Encyclopedia of the Diaspora), vol. 1 (Tel Aviv, 1953), she published a piece on Jewish literature (pp. 505-14).



Sources: N. Blumental, in Yediut 3 and in Nay-velt (Tel Aviv) (May 8, 1953); R. Averbakh, in Undzer veg (New York) (July 1953); Y. Turkov, in Tog (New York) (June 4, 1953).


Tuesday, 17 March 2015

AYZIK BERMAN

AYZIK BERMAN (d. June 27, 1898)
He was born in Lithuania, later moving to London and from there to South Africa.  In 1896-1897, he published one of the first Yiddish newspapers in Johannesburg, Di afrikanishe yidishe gazeten (The African Jewish gazette).

Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 1, p. 632; Y. Sh. Yudelovitsh, in Dorem-afrike (April 1950); Leybl Feldman, Yidn in dorem-afrike (Jews in South Africa) (Johannesburg-Vilna, 1937), p. 67.


ADOLF BERMAN

ADOLF BERMAN (October 17, 1906-March 4, 1978)
Born in Warsaw, he graduated from Warsaw University.  He served as director of the Jewish Psychotechnical Institute in Poland.  He was a member of the presidium of the Jewish underground movement in Warsaw during the German occupation.  He was a deputy to the Polish Sejm after WWII, chair of the central committee of Jews in Polish, and chair of the left Poale-Tsiyon Party in Poland.  From 1949 he was living in Israel.  He was a member of the Knesset.  Initially he was a member of Mapam, later a co-founder of Moshe Sneh’s Communist group.  He published in Arbeter-tsaytung (Workers’ newspaper) in Warsaw, Arbeter-tsaytung in Lodz, Nay-velt (New world) in Tel Aviv, and Fray yisroel (Free Israel) in Tel Aviv.  He served on the editorial board of Dos naye lebn (The new life) in Lodz (1945-1948), and he contributed the article on “Warsaw” to the Entsiklopediya shel galut (Encyclopedia of the Diaspora), vol. 1 (Tel Aviv, 1953).  He authored: Vos der goyrl hot mir bashert, mit yidn in varshe, 1939-1942 (The fate destined for me, with Jews in Warsaw, 1939-1942) (Haifa: Bet loame hagetaot, 1980), 328 pp.  This work appeared in Hebrew translation by Sh. Even-Shoshan, Bamakom asher yaad li hagoral, im yehude varshe, 1939-1942 (Tel Aviv, 1978).  He also brought out: Miyeme hamaḥteret (Days in the underground), translated by others (Tel Aviv, 1971), 240 pp.  He also wrote a great deal for the leftwing Polish press in Poland and for the Hebrew-language press in Israel.  He died in Tel Aviv.



Source: Who Is Who in Israel (Tel Aviv, 1952).

[Additional information from: Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), cols. 108-9.]


A. BERMAN

A. BERMAN

He was the translator of Evgeni Chirikov’s drama Evrey (The Jews) as Yidn (Jews) (Vilna, 1907), 104 pp.

HENRIK BERLEVI (HENRYK BERLEWI)

HENRIK BERLEVI (HENRYK BERLEWI) (1894-1967)
He was born in Warsaw, and at age twelve he entered the Warsaw Art School at the same time as he attended a middle school.  Later, he studied at the Art Academy in Antwerp and for a certain period of time at the Art Academy of Paris as well.  He was one of the founders of the Yidishe gezelshaft tsu farshpreytn kunst (Jewish Society for the Encouragement of Fine Arts).  He organized shows of Jewish artists in Warsaw, and he wrote articles about art for: Ilustrirte velt (Illustrated world), Haynt Today), Folkstsaytung (People’s newspaper), Ringen (Links), Albatros (Albatross), Milgroym (Pomegranate), Literarishe bleter (Literary leaves), and Ilustrirte vokh (Illustrated week), among others.  He drew covers for Yiddish publications.  He wrote in Polish a pamphlet concerning the new methods in figurative art which he dubbed “mechano-faktura” (Warsaw, 1924)—there is a German translation of this work.  He lived until his death in Paris.



Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 1; Kh. Aronson, in Ilustrirte vokh 63; Berl Kuczer, Geven amol varshe (As Warsaw once was) (Paris, 1955), see index.


L. (ARSKI) BERLINROYT

L. (ARSKI) BERLINROYT

He was the author of the pamphlets: Di milkhome un der yudishe arbayter in palestina (The war and the Jewish worker in Palestine) (Kiev, 1917), 8 pp.; and Tsu der ekonomisher lage fun sovet-rusland (On the economic condition of Soviet Russia) (Berlin, 1923), 16 pp.

NOTE-YERUKHEM BERLINER

NOTE-YERUKHEM BERLINER (1897-1945)
He was born in Radzymin, Poland, descended from a rabbinic family.  Early on he was orphaned and raised by his grandfather.  In 1921 he became general secretary of the Youth Agudas Yisroel.  In 1924 he founded (with Y. L. Orlean) the Orthodox publishing house of Yeshurun.  From 1932 he was director of the Beys Yankev Girls’ schools in Lodz.  During the Nazi occupation, he carried on illegal religious education.  In the summer of 1944 he was sent to Auschwitz, and from there to the Kaufering Labor Camp near Landsberg, and there several months before the camp was liberated he died of hunger.  He first published in Diglenu (Our banner), the literary journal of Youth Agudas Yisroel in Poland.  He composed the anthem of Youth Agudas Yisroel.  He edited a number of anthologies and literary publications (among them the jubilee volume for Dr. Nosn Birnboym [Nathan Birnbaum] on his sixtieth birthday).  He served on the editorial board of the school reader Yidish loshn (The Yiddish language), and he wrote stories.  He used the open name: Nosn Hasofer (Nathan the scribe).

Sources: Antologye fun religyeze lider un dertseylungen (Anthology of religious poems and stories), compiled by Moyshe Prager (New York, 1955), pp. 518-24; H. Zaydman, Notitsn fun varshever geto (Notices from the Warsaw Ghetto) (Warsaw, 1952?), p. 212; Yidishe shriftn (Lodz, 1948); Dos naye lebn 30 (Lodz, 1949).


Monday, 16 March 2015

YITSKHOK (ISAAC) BERLINER

YITSKHOK (ISAAC) BERLINER (1899-June 27, 1957)
He was born in Lodz, Poland.  During WWI, he was dragooned into forced labor for the Germans.  He began writing in 1917, and his first publications were poems in the literary volumes S’feld (The field) in Lodz.  In 1922 he emigrated to Mexico and was one of the pioneers of local Jewish cultural life.  He published poems, essays, articles, and stories, and—aside from S’feld in Lodz—they appeared in: Vokhnshrift (Weekly writings) in Warsaw; Fraye arbeter shtime (Free voice of labor), Yontef bleter (Holiday leaves), Tsukunft (Future), Zamlbikher (Anthologies), and Vokhnblat (Weekly news) in New York; Literarishe zamlung (Literary collection) in Chicago; Der shpigl (The mirror) in Buenos Aires; Belgishe bleter (Belgian leaves) in Brussels; Tint un feder (Ink and pen) in Toronto; Goldene keyt (Golden chain) in Tel Aviv; Di tsayt (The times), Di shtime (The voice), Undzer vort (Our word), and Der fraynd (The friend) in Mexico; and in a series of other periodicals.  Among his books: Shtot un palatsn (City and palaces) (Mexico, 1936), 212 pp.; Ad mosay (Until when?) (Mexico, 1941), 157 pp.; Shtil zol zayn (It should be quiet) (Mexico, 1948), 179 pp.; Gezang fun mentsh (Song of man) (Mexico-New York, 1954), 160 pp.  He contributed poems to Dray vegn (Three paths), the first Yiddish literary collection in Mexico, published by the literary group “Yugnt” (Youth) (Mexico, 1927), 96 pp.  He dramatized and staged the poem Toyt-symfanye (Death symphony) (Mexico, 1941); edited various publications of OZE (Obschestvo zdravookhraneniia evreev—Society for the Protection of the Health of the Jewish Population) and of the Jewish aid association in Mexico.  From 1949 he was a regular contributor (and for a time literary editor) of Der veg (The way).  In 1931 he received an award for the best story in a competition sponsored by Der veg.  In 1955 he received the Zvi Kessel Prize for his book, Gezang fun mentsh.  He died in Mexico City.



Sources: A. Ben-Tov, in Di shtime (Mexico) (November 18, 1948, June 1, 1949, October 8, 1949); Y. Botoshanski, in Di prese (Buenos Aires) (1942); N. Y. Gotlib, in Keneder odler (October 3, 1941); Yankev Glatshteyn, in Yidisher kemfer (New York) (January 28, 1949); B. Varshavski, in Literarishe bleter (Warsaw) (November 20, 1936); N. Mayzil, in Yidishe kultur (New York) (August 1947); Shmuel Niger, in Tog (New York) (August 8, 1936); G. Pomerants, in Tsukunft (New York) (1936); Moyshe Shtarkman, in Tog (August 16, 1936); S. Kahan, in Tsukunft (1955).