YOYSEF LIFSHITS (b. 1888)
He was born in Volkovisk (Wołkowysk), Russian Poland. He graduated from the commercial school in Bialystok. In 1908 he moved to Ghent, Belgium, where he took up studying to be a chemical engineer. He was a cofounder of the Jewish student association “Hateḥiya” (The revival), and he was one of the initiators of the Jewish student conference in Ghent (1913), for which he produced Di takones fun yidishn student (The rules for a Jewish student) (Ghent, 1913), 12 pp. He was also one of the pioneers of a Yiddish press in Belgium. He contributed (articles and translations from Russian, German, and Flemish) to the publications: Der shtern (The star) (1912) and Der mayrev (The West) 4 (1913)—both printed in Copenhagen; Di yudishe prese (The Jewish press) (1921-1939) and Literarisher zhurnal (Literary journal) (1927), among others—both published in Antwerp. He also placed work in: Dos vokhen-blat (The weekly newspaper) in Copenhagen (1911-1919). He edited (together with Y. Podruzhnik) Der yudisher student (The Jewish student), “a monthly dedicated to the interests of Jewish youth generally and studying youth in particular” (Copenhagen, 1912-1913)—five issues were published. Until 1939 he worked as an engineer at the municipal electrical station in Ghent. He directed relief work for ORT (Association for the Promotion of Skilled Trades), YIVO, and Tsisho (Central Jewish School Organization). He survived the Nazi occupation of Belgium and was last living in Ghent. He published also under such pen names as: Yali and Y. A. Hartzohn.
Sources: Bal-Makhshoves, in Der fraynd (Warsaw) (February 12, 1913); Z. Reyzen, Leksikon fun der yidisher literatur un prese (Handbook for Yiddish literature and the press) (Warsaw, 1914), p. 705; Dos vokhen-blat, anniversary issue (Copenhagen, 1913); Dr. Kh. Shoshkes, in Fraye arbeter-shtime (New York) (February 15, 1962); oral information from Dovid Lehrer and Dr. Khayim Shoshkes in New York.
Khayim Leyb Fuks