YOYSEF GROB (April 24, 1881-1935)
He was born in Bolshvets (Bil’shivtsi), near Halitsh (Halicz), in eastern Galicia. He was orphaned at an early age, and at age twelve took off from home on his own on foot. He had a beautiful voice and became an assistant to the cantor in Stanislev (Stanislau). He mastered the cantorial art and in 1911 became a cantor in Vienna. He began his literary activities in 1903, and from that point forward published articles, feature pieces, and sketches in: Amerikaner (American), Idisher kemfer (Jewish fighter), and Forverts (Forward) in New York; Hayoets (The advisor) in Bucharest; Gut morgn (Good morning) in Odessa; Naye folkstsaytung (New people’s newspaper) in Rzeszów; Tog (Day) in Cracow; Sandtser tsaytung (Sandts newspaper) in Nowy Sącz; Folksfraynd Friend of the people) in Sanok; Yud (Jew) in Stanisle; and Viner morgnpost (Vienna morning mail), Viner morgn-tsaytung (Vienna morning newspaper), and others—mainly, though, in Togblat (Daily newspaper) in Lemberg. He was the author of Yoysef grobs gezamlte shriftn (Yoysef Gorb’s collected writings), including sketches, humorous pieces, and images of towns, of Vienna, and from his memories of the war (Vienna, 1919), 125 pp. He also published songs with his own melodies, was a cofounder of the “Free Jewish People’s Theater” and the “Jewish Singers’ Union” in Vienna, and wrote for the Yiddish theater.