Thursday, 7 April 2016


YANKEV-YOYSEF VOHL (April 1870-April 3, 1944)
           He was born in Trisk (Turiysk), Volhynia region, Ukraine.  He was educated in a Hassidic and Kabbala environment, and thus he stealthily studied secular subject matter and foreign languages.  Later, he was in Baku where he graduated from a middle school and studied at the university.  In 1893 he settled in Zvihil (Novohrad-Volynskyy) where he associated with the followers of the Jewish Enlightenment movement, who assembled around the Hebrew writer Mordekhai-Zev Fayerberg over the years 1874-1899.  He founded a Hebrew high school there.  He was also a Hebrew teacher at the “Enlightener of the Poor” school in Kovel (Kovle) and in Hebrew schools in Zhitomir, Kiev, Baku, and elsewhere.  In 1920 he moved to the United States where he worked as a Hebrew teacher in Boston and later in various schools in New York.  His writing activities began in Hamelits (The advocate) and Hatsfira (The siren), and he later contributed to: Luaḥ aḥiasef, Hatsofe (The spectator), Hazman (The times), and Haolam (The world).  In America, he wrote for: Hadoar (The mail), Sefer hashana leyehude amerika (Annual for the Jews of America), and Shevile haḥinukh (Paths of education), among others.  He also wrote in Russian for Razsviet (Dawn).  In Yiddish he published in Tsukunft (Future), in New York, essays on literature and literary personalities (Liessin, Brainin, and others), as well as a polemical article in the Niger-Zetser discussion of R. Nakhmen Braslaver.  He used the following pen names: R. Moyshe, Volinski, and others.  In 1944 after his death, his collection of essays in Hebrew, Beshte reshuyot (Under two conflicting authorities) (New York, 256 pp.), appeared in print.  He died in New York.

Sources: Sh. Halkin, in Sefer hayovel shel hadoar (Jubilee volume for Hadoar), ed. Menachem Ribalow (New York, 1927); Halkin, Arai vekeva (Temporary and permanent) (New York, 1942); M. Ribalow, in Hadoar (New York) (January 7, 1930); Y. Ovsey, Maamarim ureshimot (Treatises and lists) (New York, 1946); Ovsey, in Hadoar (May 1944); Dr. Sh. Bronshteyn, in Tog (New York) (November 13, 1930); Y. Rivkind, in Hadoar (Tishrei 11 [= October 3], 1930); M. Chouchani, in Hadoar (Nisan 14 [= April 11], 1960); obituary notices in Hadoar and in Tsukunft (New York) (May 1944); M. Ḥizkuni, in Hadoar (Sivan 4 [= May 23], 1947), p. 858.
Zaynvl Diamant

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