Monday, 29 May 2017


            He was a publisher, born in Vilkovishki (Vilkaviškis), Lithuania.  In 1880 he moved to Warsaw, and in 1886 he took over (with his brother Elyohu-Zeb) their father’s publishing house under the name “Brider Levin-Epshteyn” (Brothers Levin-Epshteyn).  Aside from specially ordered religious works, they also published secular Yiddish books.  From 1890 Leyvi ran the press himself, and in 1914 he founded the Yiddish “Universal Library” in line with the example of “Reklam” editions in German and published translations of Jack London, Balzac, Heinrich Heine, Lev Tolstoy, and Friedrich Hebbel—altogether nine works.  In 1920 he contributed to the publication of the weekly newspaper Ilustrirte velt (Illustrated world) in Warsaw.  Over the years 1921-1923, he developed a particularly large publishing venture and brought out a series of original works in translation.  Leyvi’s brother ELYOHU-ZEV (ELYAHU-ZEEV LEVIN-EPSHTEYN) (born Vilkaviškis, July 22, 1963-July 18, 1932) settled in Reḥovot, Israel in 1890.  In 1932 he published Zikhronotai (My memoirs).

Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 2; Getzel Kressel, Leksikon hasifrut haivrit (Handbook of Hebrew literature) (Merḥavya, 1967), vol. 2.

Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), cols. 348-49.

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