DOV-BER TIRKEL (DAVID BAER TIERKEL) (1875-May 28, 1948)
He was born in the village of Borovke (Borovka), Podolia district, Ukraine. He studied in religious elementary school and synagogue study chamber. In 1893 he moved to the United States and settled in Philadelphia where he studied at Temple University and later became a merchant. He was among the first Zionist leaders in Philadelphia, the first president of “Agudat hamakabim” (Maccabees Association), founder of the first Jewish orphans’ home, secretary of the Mishkan Yisrael Yeshiva, and the like. He began writing Hebrew poetry and later switched to Yiddish journalism. He published his first article in Di yudishe prese (The Jewish press) in Philadelphia in 1893, and from that point published poems and articles in the anthologies: Der shtern (The star) (1906-1907), Filadelfyer morgn-tsaytung (Philadelphia morning newspaper), Di gegenvart (The present), Filadelfyer yudishes vokhnblat (Philadelphia Jewish weekly newspaper), and Di idishe velt (The Jewish world)—all in Philadelphia; and Der yudisher herald (The Jewish herald), Idisher kemfer (Jewish fighter), Dos idishe folk (The Jewish people), and Der tog (The day)—in New York. In Pinkes fun amopteyl (Records of the American division of YIVO) (New York, 1927-1928), he published: “Biblyografye fun der yidisher prese in filadelfye” (Bibliography of the Yiddish press in Philadelphia). In book form: Shire david (Poems of David), Hebrew-language poems (Philadelphia, 1904), 46 pp.; Geshikhte fun yeshive mishkn-yisroel (History of Mishkan Yisrael Yeshiva) (Philadelphia, 1934), 15 pp.; Di yugntlekhe bine, geshikhte fun di idish-hebreishe dramatishe gezelshaftn (The youthful stage, a history of the Yiddish and Hebrew dramatic societies) (Philadelphia, 1940), 202 pp. He edited (over the years, 1915-1948): the chronicle page for Philadelphia of Der tog in New York; Der literarisher shtral (The literary beam); the Zionist anthology Der shtern (1906 and 1907); Filadelfyer yudishes vokhnblat, Filadelfyer morgn-tsaytung, Dos idishe folk, and Bris-akhim byuletin (Brotherhood bulletin); among others. He was the author of the dramatic poem Berd (Beards) which was performed on the Yiddish stage in Philadelphia. He left in manuscript: “Lider un legendn, artiklen un eseyen” (Poems and legends, articles and essays), among other items. He also published under such pen names as “Di batlen.” He died in Philadelphia.
Sources: Dr. A. Mukdoni, in Morgn-zhurnal (New York) (May 29, 1935); Moyshe Shtarkman, in Yorbukh (Annual) (New York, 1943); Y. L. Malamut, Filadelfyer yidishe anshtaltn un zeyere firer (Philadelphia’s Jewish institutions and their leaders) (Philadelphia, 1942), p. 326; Y. Khaykin, Yidishe bleter in amerike (Yiddish newspapers in America) (New York, 1946), p. 335; Yaakov Tsuzmer, Beikve hador (In the footprints of a generation) (New York, 1957), p. 208.
Khayim Leyb Fuks