Tuesday, 19 June 2018


YOYSEF-YITSKHOK EPSHTEYN (March 27, 1902-August 17, 1974)
            He was born in Vishegrod (Wyszogród), Poland.  He studied in religious elementary school, and secular knowledge he acquired on his own.  Until 1926 he was living in Warsaw, thereafter in Danzig (Germany).  His first poems appeared in print in Moment (Moment) in Warsaw in 1920.  He later published poetry, stories, and essays about literatary, school, and cultural affairs in: Haolam (The world) in London; Yidishe tsaytung (Jewish newspaper) and Belgishe bleter (Belgian leaves) in Antwerp; and Unzer vort (Our word), Arbeter vort (Workers’ word), and Di naye prese (The new press) in Paris; among others.  In Yizker-bukh tsum ondenk 14 umgekumene parizer yidishe shrayber (Memorial volume to the memory of fourteen murdered Parisian Jewish writers) (Paris: Oyfsnay, 1947), he published literary portraits of Borekh Vinogura and Yosl Tsuker—also included in Tsuker’s Letste shriftn (Last writings) (Paris, 1965).  In book form: Koyekh fun gloybn (Power of faith), a novel about Hassidic life in Poland (Tel Aviv, 1968), 292 pp.  He also wrote under the pen name Y. Manitsh.  From Danzig he left for Brussels and then on to Paris.  In Paris he was a leader of cultural work for the association “Arbeter heym” (Workers’ home).  He died in Jerusalem five days after making aliya.
Khayim Leyb Fuks

[Additional information from: Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 419.]


YOYSEF EPSHTEYN (b. January 23, 1902)
            He was born in Zhidatshov (Zhydachiv), Galicia.  He studied in synagogue and general subject matter on his own.  Until 1930 he worked as secretary for the left Labor Zionists in Skal (Skala-Podil’s’ka) and as a teacher in a Jewish evening school.  Later, because of a trial for his political activities, he fled to Czechoslovakia.  From 1934 to 1950, he lived in France, later making aliya to the state of Israel.  He was secretary of the Jewish writers’ and journalists’ association in Paris and later in Tel Aviv.  He debuted in print in Arbeter-tsaytung (Workers’ newspaper) in Warsaw in 1922.  He later contributed articles, reportage pieces, essays on art, monographs, and book and theater reviews to: Arbeter-tsaytung; Dos lebn (The life) in Lemberg; Di naye prese (The new press), Dos vort (The word), Arbeter vort (Workers’ word), and Yidish (Yiddish) in Paris; and the bulletin Birobidzhan in boy (Birobidzhan under construction) in Muncacz.  Among his pen names: Y. Marek and Y. Kesler.  He was last living in Kiryat-Borokhov, Israel.
Khayim Leyb Fuks


SHIYE EPSHTEYN (b. October 16, 1883)
            He was born in Snov (Snoŭ), Minsk Province, Byelorussia.  In 1898 he came to the United States.  He worked there and studied.  He studied to become a pharmacist and ran a drugstore in Brooklyn, New York.  He began publishing in 1907 in Forverts (Forward) in New York.  Later, he contributed as well to: Tsayt gayst (Spirit of the times), Fraye arbeter-shtime (Free voice of labor), Der arbayter (The worker), and a number of other periodicals and publications.  Further biographical details remain unknown.


            He was born in Rogole (Ariogala?), near Kėdainiai, Lithuania.  He attended the local yeshiva and was renowned as a prodigy.  He came to the United States in his youth and completed his studies as a doctor of medicine.  He was one of the leaders and builders of the Bronx Jewish Hospital and was very active on behalf of Zionism and Hebrew.  He published poetry in newspapers.  Together with Borekh-Khayim Kasel (Bernard Cassel), he edited Keydan, a zamelbukh, aroysgegeben tsum draysig yohrigen yubileum fun dem kaydaner ferayn, 1900-1930 (Kėdainiai, an anthology, published for the thirtieth anniversary of the Keydan [Kėdainiai] association) (New York, 1930).  In it he published his memoirs, “Keydan a halbn yorhundert tsurik” (Kėdainiai, a half-century ago), pp. 46-51, and images of Kėdainiai on p. 51.  He also wrote essays in Hebrew.  He died in New York.

Sources: Obituary, in Hadoar (New York) (July 13, 1951); A. Sh. Shvarts, in Hadoar (July 17, 1957).
Leyb Vaserman


ZALMEN EPSHTEYN (September 16, 1860-November 11, 1936)
            He was born in Luban (Lyuban’), Minsk Province.  He studied the Volozhin yeshiva, and on his own without a school he gained a broad Jewish and secular education.  In Odessa he began to write his first articles for: Hakol (The voice), Hamelits (The advocate), Hatsfira (The siren), and Haboker or (The morning light) on Zionist issues.  From 1881 when his first article appeared in print in Hamelits, he began a campaign in the Hebrew-language press for “ibat Tsiyon” (Love of Zion).  Using the pen name Shlomo Haalkoshi, he wrote up a series of images from the lives of ancient Jewry.  For a time he also wrote in Yiddish and served as an internal contributor to Tog (Day) in St. Petersburg, edited by Leon Rabinovitsh, published therein articles and feature pieces mainly on Zionist topics (using the pen names Ben Azzai and Z. E.).  Later, he came out against Yiddish in Hashiloa (The shiloah), Hatsfira, and in a series of articles in Fraynd (Friend) entitled “Unzer zelbstbashtimung un hebreish” (Our self-determination and Hebrew).  He made aliya to the land of Israel in 1925.  From his writings, we have: Kitve zalman epshteyn (The writings of Zalmen Epshteyn), with an introduction by Yankev Fikhman and an autobiography (Tel Aviv, 1938), 327 pp.; and a monograph, Moshe leyb lilyenblum, shitato vehalakh maḥshevotav bisheelot hadat uvidevar teḥiyat am yisrael beerets avotaṿ (Moshe Leib Lilienblum, his method and his thoughts went to the questions of religion and to the revival of the people of Israel in the land of his forefathers) (Tel Aviv, 1935), 224 pp.

Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 2, with a bibliography; D. Tidhar, in Entsiklopedyah lechalutse hayishuv uvonav (Encyclopedia of the pioneers and builders of the yishuv), vol. 2 (Tel Aviv, 1947), pp.799-800; G. Kressel, Leksikon hasifrut haivrit badorot haaḥaronim (Handbook of modern Hebrew literature), vol. 1 (Tel Aviv, 1965).
Yankev Kahan


ZIGMUNT EPSHTEYN (b. December 12, 1901)
            He was born in Tshenstokhov (Częstochowa), Poland.  He received both a Jewish and a secular education.  In 1923 he graduated from the law faculty of Warsaw University, and thereafter lived in Częstochowa where he was active in the Bund.  Over the years 1927-1939, he was the juridical councilor in Warsaw at the provincial assembly for the trade union association and secretary of the socialist lawyers’ association in Warsaw, among such posts.  He began writing with articles in: Arbeter tsaytung (Workers’ newspaper) in Częstochowa (1921), and later in Petrikover veker (Pyotrkov alarm).  He contributed work (1922-1939) to: Naye folkstsaytung (New people’s newspaper), Nasza Walka (Our struggle), and Robotnik (Worker), among others, in Warsaw.  In book form: Plan i czlowiek (A plan and a man) (Warsaw, 1935), 100 pp.  He was last living in New York.

Source: P. Shvarts, in Fun noentn over (New York) 2 (1956), p. 424.
Khayim Leyb Fuks


            He was from Warsaw and worked as a teacher in the Yehudiya girls’ high school; he was a leader of the people’s university of the Warsaw Zionist Organization and was active in Hazemir (The nightingale).  He was the author of Velt-geshikhte (World history), a systematic course for self-learning, edited by A. Elyashev, Dr. Ts. Feldshteyn, and Y. Eynhorn (Warsaw, 1913/1914), six parts.  This popular history was published in a number of editions.  He was in Russia during WWI.  Other biographical details remain unknown.


            He was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina.  Until age ten he studied Yiddish and until sixteen general subject matter.  Over the years 1928-1949 he lived in Buenos Aires.  He was a laborer and a leader in the Jewish community and its cultural life.  He cofounded the pioneer youth organization Gordonia in Argentina.  From 1949 he was living in the state of Israel.  From an early age he began to write poetry.  He debuted in print in Der shpigl (The mirror) in Buenos Aires in 1928.  From that point, he published poetry, sketches, stories, reportage pieces, and sections of his novels in: Kolonist-kooperator (Colonist cooperative), Di idishe tsaytung (The Jewish newspaper), Oyfsnay (Afresh), Di prese (The press), Di naye tsayt (The new times), Tsaytshrift (Periodical), and Yugnt veg (Youth way)—a publication of Gordonia (irregular, 1930-1936) of which he was also editor—among others in Buenos Aires; and Letste nayes (Latest news), Heymish (Familiar), and Davar (Word) in Tel Aviv.  In book form: Shprotsungen (Sprouts), poetry (Buenos Aires, 1930), 64 pp.; Under di shotns fun “ombu,” dertseylungen, lider, portretn (Under the shadows of Ombú, stories, poems, portraits), foreword by B. Vaynshtok (Buenos Aires, 1936), 108 pp.; Velt in flamen (World in flames), a poem about the Spanish Civil War (Buenos Aires, 1937), 26 pp.; Zangen afn vint, roman (Stalks in the wind, a novel), part 1 of a trilogy, with a preface by A. Tartakover (Tel Aviv: Perets Publ., 1961), 321 pp., winner of the Joseph Hekman Prize from the Jewish Culture Congress in Argentina (1962), Hebrew translation by Yaakov Eliav as Shibolim harua, roman (Tel Aviv: Hamenorah, 1966), 247 pp.; Durkh dem grinem toyer (Through the green gate), part 2 of the trilogy, with a preface by an Israeli ambassador (Tel Aviv, Perets Publ., 1962), 320 pp., Hebrew translation by Yaakov Eliav as Bashaar hayarok (Tel Aviv: Hamenorah, 1967), 238 pp.; Bearvot hapampa (In the wilderness of the Pampas) with drawings by M. Rozen (Tel Aviv: Hamenorah, 1965), 200 pp.; Di zun iz fargangen in dorem (The sun set in the South), part 3 of the trilogy (Tel Aviv: Perets Publ., 1968), 290 pp., Hebrew translation by Israel Zmora as Hashemesh shaka badarom (Tel Aviv: Hamenorah, 1970), 175 pp.; Meever lagiva, masa el erets haetmol (Beyond the hill, a journey to the land of yesterday) (Tel Aviv: Hamenorah, 1974), 105 pp.; Dima baagam hamar, masa el erets goshen (A tear in the bitter lake, a journey to the land of Goshen) (Tel Aviv: Etgar, 1976), 112 pp.; Derekh vekokhavim, sipurim (Road and stars, stories) (Tel Aviv: Etgar, 1978), 164 pp.; Raglayim kalot basufa, roman (Light feet in a storm, a novel) (Meravya: Etgar, 1982), 157 pp.  Prior to his death, he lived in Kibbutz Dovrat.  He was the first Yiddish prose writer born in Argentina, and he depicted in his works the epoch of Jewish life in the YIKO (Jewish Cultural Organization) colony.

Sources: Sh. Rozhanski, Dos yidishe gedrukte vort in argentina (The published Yiddish word in Argentina) (Buenos Aires, 1941), pp. 140, 173; Volf Bresler, Antologye fun der yidisher literatur in argentine (Anthology of Jewish literature in Argentina) (Buenos Aires, 1944), p. 921; Y. Tsudiker, in Di prese (Buenos Aires) (August 2, 1961); Y. Botoshanski, in Di prese (August 14-16, 1961; November 21, 1963); M. Kushnir, in Omer (Tel Aviv) (November 24, 1961); Yoysef Horn, in Idishe tsaytung (Buenos Aires) (April 15, 1962; September 14, 1966); Yoysef Menselson, in Idishe tsaytung (January 18, 1965); G. Sapozhnikov, Pinkes tsu der forshung fun der yidisher literatur un prese (Records to research on Yiddish literature and the press) (New York, 1965), pp. 212-13; M. alamish, in Mikan umikarov (From here and from nearby) (Meravya, 1966); Y. Ben Mikhal, in Hapoel hatsayir (Tel Aviv) (Elul 2 [August 18], 1966).
Khayim Leyb Fuks

[Additional information from: Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 418.]


BEYNISH EPSHTEYN (1896-March 26, 1981)
            He was born in Tavrig (Tauragė), Lithuania, into a distinguished rabbinical family.  He attended the Slobodka and Volozhin yeshivas.  He studied law in Dorpat (Yuryev) and Berlin Universities.  From his student years, he was active in the Zionist movement.  He was a member of the editorial board of “Ḥorev” publishers in Berlin (1923), and in 1926 he came to the United States.  He was a leading member in the new Zionist organization “Brit ḥerut-hatsahar” (Revisionist Zionism) in America, a member of the Zionist action committee, and a contributor to the Revisionist press in Yiddish and Hebrew.  He wrote journalistic articles and special columns for: Unzer shtime (Our voice) and served as its editor, Bafrayung (Liberation), Unzer veg (Our way) and was for a time its co-editor, Tog (Day), Morgn-zhurnal (Morning journal), and Tog-morgn-zhurnal (Day-morning journal), among others—in New York; Der idisher zhurnal (The Jewish journal) in Toronto; Keneder odler (Canadian eagle) in Montreal; Idisher kuryer (Jewish courier) in Chicago; Moment (Moment), Unzer veg, and Rak kakh (Only thus) in Warsaw; and Hamashkif (The spectator) and azit haam (People’s front) in Tel Aviv; among others.  He was the editor of the Revisionist Zionist English-language monthly News Letter in New York.  He played an important role in influencing the Republican Party in favor of a stance of behalf of Zionism and the state of Israel.  He died in New York.

Sources: Dr. A. Mukdoni, in Morgn-zhurnal (New York) (April 9, 1940); Moshe Giloni, in azit haoved (Tel Aviv) (Adar 9 [= March 1], 1966); Suvenir-zhurnal (New York) (May 5, 1963).
Khayim Leyb Fuks


ALTER EPSHTEYN (EPSTEIN) (April 20, 1879-June 6, 1959)
            He was Ponemunok (Panėmunelis), Kovno district, Lithuania.  His father, a descendant of the Strashuns and Katsenelboyms of Vilna, was a ritual slaughterer and a follower of the Jewish Enlightenment.  Alter studied in yeshiva, later becoming involved in the revolutionary movement and active in the Bund under a variety of names though mainly with the nickname, “Alter der Hoykher” (Alter, the tall).  He participated (1901-1902) in the conferences of the Bund in Bialystok; the 1902 meeting took place in his apartment.  In 1908 he made his way to the United States, debuted in print in 1910 in Forverts (Forward) in New York, won a prize in a literary competition, and from 1914 regularly published sketches and stories in the newspaper.  He also contributed to: Di tsukunft (The future), Glaykhhayt (Equality) edited by M. Winchevsky and Shakhne Epshteyn, Ladies’ Garment Worker (in Yiddish), Fraye arbeter-shtime (Free voice of labor), Der amerikaner (The American), and Byalistoker shtime (Voice of Bialystok)—all in New York.  He became a regular contributor to Tog (Day) in New York and there published articles on theater, the lives of actors, images of New York’s courthouses, and interviews and descriptions of important Jewish personalities, among other topics.  He also wrote under such pen names as: Uriel Mazik, L. Lipski, Leye Shelup, Aksel, Baobakhter, A Reporter, and Alef.  In book form, he published: A karyere un andere ertsehlungen (A career and other stories) (New York: M. Mayzel, 1921), 256 pp.; Der hoyker un andere ertsehlungen (The hunchback and other stories) (New York: M. Mayzel, 1923), 260 pp.; second edition of both books (New York: H. Toybenshlag, 1925).  “A realist with a definite inclination for psychological analysis,” wrote Zalmen Reyzen, “he describes with a romantic-sentimental tone Jewish life in a Lithuanian town and immense New York, childhood, religious elementary school, yeshiva, a trade workshop, barracks, and the movement.”  His dramatic scene, “Bay a fremdn fayer” (At a strange fire), which appeared in his book A karyere, was also produced for the stage.  He died in Brooklyn, New York.

Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 2; Zalmen Zilbertsvayg, Leksikon fun yidishn teater (Handbook of the Yiddish theater), vol. 2 (New York, 1934); Vohl, in Di tsukunft (New York) (March 1932); B. Bukhvald, in Morgn-frayhayt (New York) (March 27, 1935); Byalistoker-shtime (New York), jubilee edition (September-October 1940); H. Morgenshtern, in Tog-morgn-zhurnal (New York) (November 14, 1954); Unzer tsayt (New York) (July-August 1959); Di geshikhte fun bund (The history of the Bund) (New York, 1960), vol. 1, pp. 168, 273; Arbeter-ring boyer un tuer (Builders and leaders of the Workmen’s Circle), ed. Y. Yeshurin and Y. Sh. Herts (New York, 1962), p. 286.
Yankev Birnboym


AVROM EPSHTEYN (ABRAHAM EPSTEIN) (August 18, 1880[1]-December 8, 1952)
            He was born in Slutsk, Minsk district, Byelorussia.  Until age seventeen he studied in Slutsk yeshivas, and thereafter he became an external student.  He read with considerable diligence the great Russian critics Vissarion Belinski, Dmitry Pisarev, and Nikolay Dobrolyubov—and he was especially taken with Belinsky.  Together with Y. D. Berkovitsh and Meyer Vaksman, he published a hand-printed work entitled Hatsayir (Youth).  His essay in it concerned Émile Zola.  In 1902 he began to publish poetry and children’s stories in the periodicals: Haperaim (The fruits), Hashaar (The dawn), Ben shaar (Son of dawn), and Shetilim (Seedlings)—in the last of these, a lengthy poem about the Messiah son of Joseph.  Over the years 1911-1915, he published poetry and stories in the revived Hatsfira (The siren) and contributed to Vilna’s Hazman (The times).  His first essay appeared in the anthology Erets (Land) in Odessa (1917), and he also wrote for: Barkai (Morning star) in Odessa, edited by Y. Klausner and later by A. Litay).  His work appeared as well in: Reshumot (Gazette); Haolam (The world) in Berlin; and Hadoar (The mail), Bitsaron (Fortress), Shevile haḥinukh (Pathways in education), and Sefer hashana (Yearbook) for “Histadrut ivrit” (Hebrew federation)—in America.  He arrived in the United States in 1925, worked as a teacher of literature in the Herzliya seminary in New York and at the Yeshiva of Flatbush in Brooklyn.  He was a co-editor of Slutsker sheygets (Slutsk smart alec), a humorous magazine of satire—he himself contributed poems, features, and the like.  When he lived for a short while in Kishinev, he wrote for the local newspaper Unzer tsayt (Out time).  His book-length works include: Sofrim (Writers) (New York, 1934), 232 pp., essays about Y. L. Gordon, Sh. Ben-Tsiyon, . N. Bialik, Sh. Chernikhovsky, and Z. Shneur, among others; Mikarov unmeraok (From near and far) (New York: Ohel, 1943), 261 pp., with a foreword and afterword—among the essays here are two which concern Yiddish: “Modernizm basifrut haidit beamerika” (Modernism in Yiddish literature in America), pp, 208-19; and “Yaakov Glatshteyn” (Yankev Glatshteyn); Sofrim ivrim beamerika (Hebrew writers in America) (Tel Aviv: Devir, 1952), 2 vols., 442 pp.  Among his pen names: Aba and Aba Arikha.  He was among the most respected critics in American Hebrew literature.  He also enriched literary criticism in Yiddish with a series of important literary studies published in Tsukunft (Future) in New York.  He died in New York.

Sources: Pinkas slutsk (Records of Slutsk), Slutsk memorial volume (Tel Aviv, 1962), pp. 389-402; G. Kressel, Leksikon hasifrut haivrit badorot haaḥaronim (Handbook of modern Hebrew literature), vol. 1 (Tel Aviv, 1965), cols. 137-38.

[1] He himself gave several versions of his birth year: 1879-1880 and 1881.

Monday, 18 June 2018


            He hailed from Lide (Lida).  He was the author of a pamphlet entitled Der koolsher shrayber (The comunity writer)—three splendid poems with melodies: the community writer, the Lithuanian traveler, and the Jewish wedding—(Vilna: Rozenkrants and typesetter, 1876), 32 pp.

Source: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 2.


HESHL EPFELBERG (1861-June 7, 1927)
            He was born in Lomazi (Łomazy), near Biała Podlaska, Poland.  Until age sixteen he studied in the synagogue study hall.  In 1880 he settled in Warsaw.  In 1888 he staged at the “Eldorado” theater in Warsaw his first play Dovid in der viste (David in the wilderness) with Jacob Adler in the title role.  He later composed other theatrical works, such as: Esterke (Esterke), Der korbn (The victim), Der shadkhn (The matchmaker), and Der engel (The angel).  Over the course of twelve years (1888-1899), he published yearbooks entitled Epfelbergs kalendar (Epfelberg’s calender), and in it published several novellas—such as “Parnose” (A living) and “Der erets-yisroel-yid” (The Jew from the land of Israel).  He also brought out a series of Yontef bleter (Holiday sheets).  In 1906 he produced his play Der korbn at the Yiddish theater Elizeum.  From Tishre to Nisan (September-April) 1918-1919, he published an illustrated weekly newspaper Di teater-velt (The theater world), roughly twenty-four issues in all, and published there as well several articles about Sholem Aleichem and the Yiddish theater.  Of his theatrical works, those published in book form include: Dovid in der viste, oder golyes haplishti, historishe operete in finf akten mit tsvelf bilder (David in the wilderness, or Goliath the Philistine, a historical operetta in five acts with twelve scenes) (Warsaw, 1888), 64 pp.; Esterke, drama in finf akten mit nayn bilder, nokh farsheydene kveln (Esterke, a drama in five acts with nine scenes, from various sources), adapted by H. Epfelberg (Warsaw, 1890), 79 pp.; Der korbn, drame in fir akten (The victim, a drama in four acts) (Warsaw, 1910/1911), 124 pp.; Der shadkhn, operetta in eyn akt (The matchmaker, an operetta in one act) (Warsaw, 1907), 30 pp.  In 1921 he moved to the United States.  He died in New York.

Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 2; Zalmen Zilbertsvayg, Leksikon fun yidishn teater (Handbook of the Yiddish theater), vol. 2 (New York, 1934); Y. Shatski, Geshikhte fun yidn in varshe (History of Jews in Warsaw), vol. 3 (New York: YIVO, 1953), pp. 272-74, 317; Dr. A. Mukdoni, In varshe un in lodzh (In Warsaw and in Lodz), vol. 2 (Buenos Aires, 1955).
Yankev Kahan


SHMUEL EPELBOYM (b. April 27, 1910)
            He was born in Drohitshin (Drohiczyn), Polesia.  He studied in religious elementary school, with private tutors, and later in the Hebrew teachers’ seminary in Vilna.  For many years he was a teacher in various towns in Poland.  Over the years 1941-1944, he was confined in the Drohiczyn ghetto, later fighting with the partisans and then with the Soviet army.  From 1945 he was living in a refugee camp in Munich.  He was a contributor and co-editor of the Munich newspaper Dos vort (The word) and the Hebrew-language journal Nitsots (Spark).  He also contributed a piece of work entitled “Khurbn drohitshin” (The destruction of Drohiczyn) to the volume Drohytshin, finf hundert yor yidish-lebn (Drohiczyn, 500 years of Jewish life) (Chicago, 1948), pp. 287-303.  From 1948 he was living in the state of Israel.

Source: Drohytshin finf hundert yor yidish-lebn (Drohiczyn, 500 years of Jewish life) (Chicago, 1948), p. 194.
Benyomen Elis


YANKEV EPELBOYM (October 1887-January 29, 1972)
            He was born in the village around Pruzhane (Pruzhany), Belarus.  He received a traditional education.  He began writing very early.  Many of his manuscripts remained in Europe and were lost.  He immigrated to Uruguay, and contributed to the local Yiddish press.  He wrote essays of a religious philosophical character.  He published a book entitled Fun eygene un fremde kvaln, a zaml-bukh far kinder un yugntlekhe (From my own and foreign sources, an anthology for children and young people) (Montevideo, 1946).  He authored a lengthy essay entitled “Dos gefil fun tragik in yidishn veltbanem” (The sense of tragedy in the Jewish worldview).  A fragment of the essay, entitled “Di yidishe velt-oyffasung in biblishn period” (The Jewish world view in the biblical period), was published in Zamlbukh (Anthology), published by the knitting factory on the twenty-fifth anniversary of the institution, edited by Gershon Sapozhnikov (Buenos Aires, 1961), pp. 284-86.  He died in Montevideo.

Sources: “Nayn bikher in yidish” (Nine books in Yiddish), Tsukunft (New York) (March 1946; June 1946).


BERISH EPLBOYM (September 25, 1887-July 1, 1945)
            His full first name was Berish-Menakhem, born in Vukin (?), Lublin district, Poland.  His father, Yisroel-Leyb, was an old Kotsker Hassid and a ritual slaughterer.  At age five he was already studying Talmud and at fifteen he had acquired fame as a prodigy.  At fifteen he began learning ritual slaughtering from his father, but Berish was drawn more to Talmudic disputation and speculative texts, and under the influence of the Rambam’s works he turned away from Hassidic piety.  He devoured quantities of the novels of Shomer (N. M. Shaykevitsh); he wrote Hebrew rhymed verse and also disputations on tractate Kiddushin.  At eighteen he departed for Warsaw, where he suffered a great deal; he studied some Russian and Polish, and half a year later he had to return home.  Three years hence he made his way back to Warsaw and took up various kinds of work.  He lived for a time in Lodz.  He debuted in print in 1912 with a story entitled “Tsvey doyres” (Two generations) in Tageblat (Daily newspaper) in Lodz, edited by U. Uger, and later while he was living in a provincial city, he began to write Hassidic stories and folktales.  The first story was published in Unzer lebn (Our life), and other works appeared in: Tageblat, Fraynt (Friend), Haynt (Today), and Berdichev’s Folks-shtime (Voice of the people), among others.  With the outbreak of WWI, he roamed as far as Odessa, and there contributed to: Unzer lebn, Dos naye lebn (The new life), and Komunistishe shtim (Communist voice), among others.  Around 1920 he returned to Warsaw, placed work in a variety of newspapers, and worked mainly on Yiddish translations for the publishing house Tsentral.  In late 1922 he left Poland and settled in New York and later in Philadelphia.  He wrote for Yidishes tageblat (Jewish daily newspaper), later switching to Morgn-zhurnal (Morning journal), for which he wrote many sketches, stories, and novels.  He wrote longer stories and critical essays in Tsukunft (Future), Feder (Pen), and Fraye arbeter-shtime (Free voice of labor), among others, in New York.  He also wrote in Hebrew for: Haolam (The world), Hazman (The times), and Hatsfira (The siren), among others.  He used such pseudonyms as: Dr. B. Grinbloy, A. Vasershteyn, Pensne, and B. Tapua.  His novel Oyfbroyz, fun der shturmisher revolutsye-tsayt in rusland, 1917-1919 (Spurt, from the violent revolutionary era in Russia, 1917-1919) (Warsaw: Vanderer, 1923) was dramatized and staged (1925-1926) in a Kiev studio theater.  On October 12, 1929 his work Gerangl, a shpil in 3 akten un 6 bilder (Struggle, a play in three acts and six scenes) was staged by the Vilna Troupe in New York.  Under the pen name Ovn-Beys, he wrote weekly theater reviews for the Philadelphia edition of Morgn-zhurnal.  He died in Philadelphia.  His works in book form: In fryen harbst, dertseylung (In early autumn, a story) (Kovno-Berlin: Yidish, 1921), 58 pp.; Finstere vegn, fun letster ukraine (Dark paths, from Ukraine of late) (Warsaw: Tsentral, 1922), 163 pp.; In geviter (In a thunderstorm) (Warsaw: Tsentral, 1923), 216 pp.; Oyfbroyz [see above], three parts, 168 pp., 128 pp., 136 pp.; Amnon un tamar (Amnon and Tamar) (Warsaw: Tsentral, 1923), 319 pp., a translation of Avraham Mapu’s Ahavat-tsiyon (Love of Zion); Di zind fun shomron (The sin of Shomron) (Warsaw: Tsentral, 1923), 358 pp., a translation of Mapu’s Ashmat shomron (The guilt of Shomron); Zikhroynes vegn mendelen, fun farsheydene shriftshteler (Memories of Mendele, from various writers), an adaptation (Warsaw: Mendele, 1923), 149 pp.; Der vos hot geblondzhet (He who lost his way [original: Hatoe bedarkhe haḥayim]), a translation of a work by Perets Smolenskin, with a biography and characterization of Smolenskin, written by Ruvn Brainin (Warsaw: Sefer, 1927); Afn shvel, roman in dray teyln (At the threshold, a novel in three parts) (Warsaw-New York: Bzhoza, 1928), 382 pp.; Derleyzung (Redeption) (Warsaw: Aḥiasef, 1931), 404 pp.; Brider, roman (Brothers, a novel) (Warsaw: Bzhoza, 1931), 161 pp.; Dem zeydns shkie (Grandfather’s sunset) (Warsaw: Bzhoza, 1931), 113 pp.; Sheydveg (Crossroads) (Philadelphia: Kadima-tsentral, 1935), 308 pp.; Farloshn likht (Extinguished candle) (New York: World Jewish Culture Association, 1944), 171 pp.  A number of his novels, such as Mishke yapontshik (Mishke Yaponchik), were not published in book form.

Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 2; Getzel Kressel, Leksikon hasifrut haivrit badorot haaaronim (Handbook of modern Hebrew literature) (Meravya, 1966), vol. 1; Zalmen Zilbertsvayg, Leksikon fun yidishn teater (Handbook of the Yiddish theater), vol. 2 (New York, 1934); Shmuel Niger, in Tsukunft (New York) (May 1924); B. Rivkin, in Tsukunft (July 1928); A. Glants, in Tog (New York) (October 19, 1928); Dr. A. Mukdoni, in Morgn-zhurnal (October 19, 1928); L. Fogelman, in Forverts (New York) (October 26, 1928; July 31, 1931); Meylekh Ravitsh, in Vokhnshriftn far literatur (Warsaw) (April 24, 1931); E. Almi, Mentshn un ideyen (Men and ideas) (Warsaw, 1933), pp. 112-21; Sh. D. Zinger, in Keneder odler (Montreal) (August 13, 1935); Almanakh (Almanac) of the ten-year anniversary of the B. Eplboym reading circle (Philadelphia, 1947); Sh. Slutski, Avrom reyzen-biblyografye (Avrom Reyzen’s bibliography) (New York, 1956), no. 4915.
Leyb Vaserman


ALTER ESELIN (ESSELIN) (April 23, 1889-November 22, 1974)
            The adopted name of Ore Serebrenik, he was born in Chernigov, Ukraine, to a father who was a merchant at fairs.  At age ten he was orphaned and was raised under the strict supervision of his maternal grandfather.  He studied in religious elementary school and the municipal middle school.  At thirteen he was for a time an apprentice to a tailor and later he was a carpenter.  Active in his youth in socialist revolutionary circles, he was imprisoned and subsequently released.  In 1908 he arrived in the United States and worked for several years as a carpenter in Norwich, Connecticut.  He later made his way over the length and breadth of the United States.  He debuted in print with a poem in Kundes (Prankster) in 1919.  From that point, he published poems in: Fraye arbeter-shtime (Free voice of labor), Frayhayt (Freedom), Di tsayt (The times), Der fraynt (The friend), Dos vort (The word), Tsukunft (Future), Nay-yidish (New Yiddish), Studyo (Studio), Di feder (The pen), Epokhe (Epoch), Oyfkum (Arise), Yidishe kultur (Jewish culture), Getseltn (Tents), and Vayter (Further)—in New York; Mayrev (West) and Zunland (Sun land) in Los Angeles; Ineynem (Altogether), Yung-shikago (Young Chicago), and Literarishe zamlungen (Literary anthologies)—in Chicago; Literarishe bleter (Literary leaves) and Haynt (Today) in Warsaw; Mir aleyn (We alone) and Der veg (The way) in Kovno; and Di goldene keyt (The golden chain) and Heymish (Familiar) in Tel Aviv.  His book-length works include: Knoytn (Wicks), poetry (Chicago: L. M. Shteyn, 1927), 96 pp.; Unter der last (Under the burden), poems (Chicago: Tseshinski, 1936), 140 pp.; Lider fun a midbernik (Poems of a hermit) (Milwaukee, 1954), 118 pp.  In 1955 he received the Kovno Prize for that year from the Jewish Book Council of New York.  In 1925 he received first prize in a poetry contest in Frayhayt in New York.  From 1925 he was living in Milwaukee, where he died.

Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 2; A. Mukdoni, in Morgn-zhurnal (New York) (June 3, 1936); Shmuel Niger, in Tog (New York) (June 14, 1936); Niger, in Tog-morgn-zhurnal (New York) (May 23, 1955); Y. Botoshanksi, in Di prese (Buenos Aires) (August 1936); Kh. Krul, in Indzl (Bucharest) (August 15, 1936); V. Natanzon, in Idisher kemfer (New York) (April 9, 1937); Ezra Korman, in Idisher kemfer (December 20, 1940); Y. Rapaport, in Davke (Buenos Aires) 13 (1952); A. Leyeles, in Tog (June 5, 1954); Yankev Glatshteyn, in Idisher kemfer (July 9, 1954); Meylekh Ravitsh, in Di goldene keyt (Tel Aviv) 21 (1955); N. Mayzil, Amerike in yidishn vort antologye (America in Yiddish, an anthology) (New York: Ikuf, 1955).

[Additional information from: Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 417.]


SLAVA ESTRIN (1892-October 22, 1966)
            Her actual given name was Tsipoyre, born in Moscow to a merchant family.  When she was about three years of age, her family moved to Warsaw.  There she later graduated from the Yehudye school, studied in Polish drama schools, and acted in Polish theater.  Because of the anti-Semitic environment, she left the Polish stage and switched to performing Y. L. Perets’s one-act plays in Yiddish in the drama section of “Hazemir” (The nightingale).  Later she acted with the Perets Hirshbeyn Troupe and in 1913 in the Hebrew drama group under the direction of Naum Tsema, before the emergence of Habima.  In late 1913 she came to the United States and acted on the Yiddish stage, under the direction of her husband Yankev Ben-Ami.  She translated a number of works into Yiddish, among them: Di vile ibern yam (The villa on the sea) from Polish; and from English, Herman Bar’s Der kontsert (The concert) and Ben Hecht’s A fon vert geboyrn (A Flag Is Born), among others.  She also published sketches in Tog (Day) in New York, and articles and theater reviews in the weekly newspaper Undzer folk (Our people), Yidishe kultur (Jewish culture), and Nyu yorker vokhnblat (New York weekly newspaper)—all in New York.

Sources: Zalmen Zilbertsvayg, Leksikon fun yidishn teater (Handbook of the Yiddish theater), vol. 1 (New York: Elisheva, 1931); M. Yakhsan, in Forverts (New York) (November 11, 1966).

Sunday, 17 June 2018


            He was born in the city of Zaporozhye (Zaporiz’ke), Ukraine, into a family of formers residents of the Nay-Zlatopol Jewish national district.  He gained his education in hometown, became an engineer, worked in Zaporiz’ke and later in Moscow, and he was active in the 1980s in various Jewish community organizations.  Over the years 1988-1991, he worked as secretary of the journal Sovetish heymland (Soviet homeland).  He published his first stories in this journal in 1986.  From that time forward, he published stories and articles.  From 1991 he was at Oxford University.  In 1996 he defended a doctoral dissertation on Soviet Yiddish.  In 1994 he initiated the literary journal Di pen (The pen) and edited all fifty-five issues which appeared between 1994 and 1998.  He worked as a lecturer in Oxford and London.  From 1999 he was European correspondent for the Forverts (Forward)—a few articles he signed Yankev London and G. Yakobi.  All through this time he was carrying on active research work, teaching, and appearing at academic seminars in various countries.  Since 2003 he has been the author of literary research and professor of Yiddish studies at New York University.  His writings include: “Di royte balke” (The red rafter), a story, supplement to Sovetish heymland (1988); Kurtser yidish-rusissher verterbukh (Short Yiddish-Russian dictionary) (Moscow, 1989), second improved edition (1990); Moskver purim-shpiln (Purim plays in Moscow), stories (Oxford, 1993), 151 pp.; Soviet Yiddish: Language Planning and Linguistic Development (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1996), 217 pp.; Intensive Yiddish (Oxford, 1996), 255 pp.; In Harness: Yiddish Writers’ Romance with Communism (Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 2005), 242 pp.; Yiddish in the Cold War (Oxford, 2008), 178 pp.; Yiddish in Weimar Berlin : At the Crossroads of Diaspora Politics and Culture (London: Taylor and Francis, 2017); The Shtetl: Image and Reality (London: Taylor and France, 2017); Translating Sholem Aleichem: History, Politics and Art (London: Routledge, 2017).

Chaim Beider, Leksikon fun yidishe shrayber in ratn-farband (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers in the Soviet Union), ed. Boris Sandler and Gennady Estraikh (New York: Congress for Jewish Culture, Inc., 2011), pp. 272-73.


            He was one of the group of young writers at the journal Yunger boy-klang (The young sound of reconstruction) in Kharkov, and he debuted in print in that journal with poems and stories.  He also contributed to the Komyug (Communist youth) newspaper Yunge gvardye (Young guard) in Kharkov, and Yungvarg (Youth), Pyoner (Pioneer), and Zay greyt (Be ready), among others, in Moscow.  After 1937 there was no further information about him.
Khayim Leyb Fuks


YOYEL ENTIN (Torah portion Khaya-Sara, November 1874 or 1875-February 26, 1959)
            He was born in Pahost (Pohost), Minsk district, Byelorussia.  His father Iser-Nosn was a descendant of the pedigreed family Heylperin.  On his mother side as well, he descended from clergy, yeshiva headmasters, rabbis, and preachers.  At age five he began attended religious elementary school, studying Tanakh and Talmud and later mainly Hebrew and grammar with his older brother Arn.  While still young, he began reading novels, and soon he was reading the classic Hebrew writers and making his own first literary efforts (several poems, the start of a novel).  After his bar mitzvah, he spent a summer of study in Yeshmen (?), later in the yeshivas in Blinits (Bialynichy) and Mir, as well as in the synagogue study hall in the city of his birth.  He fell under the influence of “ibat Tsiyon” (Love of Zion) and worked for its movement.  In Tammuz 1890 he left for Moscow with the goal of earning enough money from giving Hebrew lessons to then make aliya to the land of Israel (his parents later made aliya).  For a time in Moscow he worked as librarian for the association “Bnei Tsiyon” (Children of Zion) and perfected his knowledge of the Russian language, but because of the banishment of Jews from Moscow, he perforce returned home.  In 1891 he came to the United States to join his brothers.  Initially he worked stitching shirts and in shops selling cigarettes and Yiddish newspapers and novels.  Influenced by the socialist trade union movement, he studied in night schools for immigrants (the teachers there were Philip Krants and L. E. Miller).  He later attended lectures given by Avrom Kaspe (English literature and mathematics) and Yuda Yofe (Latin).  Over the years 1896-1898, he was a free auditor at Columbia University, taking courses on English literature, psychology, and anthropology, especially studying English drama.  In 1898 he became a teacher of English and English literature at the socialist labor education school.  That same year he became a teacher of Yiddish literature at the “Educational League.”  Yiddish theater and Yankev Gordin exerted a distinctive influence on him.  Around 1895-1896, Entin began his own literary activities with a poem for May First in English in People, and with translations from popular scientific and socialist articles in Zuntog-blat (Sunday newspaper) and Abend-blat (Evening newspaper), edited by Philip Krants.  He also began at this time to write about Yiddish theater.  He became secretary of the “Fraye yidishe folksbine” (Free Yiddish people’s stage) (founded in 1896 with Yankev Gordin).  He was one of the most important and proficient of the Folksbine, and he edited the anthology Fraye yidishe folksbine, in which he published his first article on the theater.  After the establishment of Forverts (Forward), he began publishing in it sketches, translations, and literary essays.  From that point in time, he contributed to virtually all of the radical Jewish periodicals in America—daily, weekly, and monthly.  He leapt to luster as a Yiddish journalist, accomplished through many years of contributing to Di varhayt (The truth), edited by Louis Miller (he also placed work in other newspaper, such as Miller’s Der firer [The leader] in 1915, and Di naye varhayt [The new truth] in 1925), and later in Tog (Day) which in 1918 merged with Di varhayt.  He composed literary and theater criticism and journalistic articles.  He was one of the editors of the collections: Yugend (Youth) (II) of 1901 and Literatur (Literature) (1-2), with Yoyel Slonim and M. Y. Khayimovitsh, of 1910 (New York).  Entin’s writings on the Yiddish theater were comprehensive, the most important being the prehistory of Yiddish theater.  He was one of the spiritual leaders of the Labor Zionist movement in America, and from 1916 he edited the party organ Der idisher kemfer (The Jewish fighter), for a time together with Leon Khazanovitsh and B. Tsukerman, later with Dovid Pinski, and finally (1918-1920) by himself.  He was one of the most intimate contributors to the daily organ of Labor Zionism, Di tsayt (The times); later, he co-edited the biweekly party organ, Der idisher arbeter (The Jewish worker).  He translated fictional writings from Russian, English, and Hebrew as well.  In partnership with Z. Levin, he wrote the play Di shule fun lebn (The school of life), staged in 1907; translated Oscar Wilde’s Salome, staged around 1911, Henryk Ibsen’s Di gayster (The ghosts [original: Gengangere]), which became part of the Yiddish theater repertoire; Maurice Maeterlinck’s Peleas un melizande (Pelléas and Mélisande [original: Pelléas et Mélisande]); a free translation with M. Kats of Shapse tsvi (Shabbatai Tsvi [original: Koniec Mesjasza]) by Jerzy Żuławski, staged in 1923 by Maurice Schwartz in the Yiddish Art Theater; also translated for dramatic societies Arthur Schnitzler’s Libelay (Flirtation [original: Liebelei]), Literatur (Literature), and Lyalke-shpiler (Puppet show [original: Der tapfere Cassian, Puppenspiel in einem Akt (The brave Cassian, a puppet play in one act)]), with Sh. Lipe.  He also wrote several party pamphlets in English.  For many years he led a fight to improve Yiddish theater, initially through the “Fraye yidishe folksbine” and later through the “Progressive Dramatic Club” (1902-1912), of which he was leader, translator, and director, and which under his guidance groomed actors who later assumed important positions in the professional theater.  He was the founder and director of the National Radical Jewish Schools, which laid the foundation for the secular Jewish school movement in America.  He was the founder, teacher, and leader (and nominally also president) of the Jewish teachers’ seminary.  He also served as chairman of the “Committee for Yiddish in State Schools.”  Over the years 1914-1916 (in association with others), he served as editor of Yidisher kinder-zhurnal (Jewish children’s magazine), the first Yiddish magazine for children in America, published by the Federation of the National Radical Schools.  He was also one of the initiators and for a time active leaders of the People’s Relief—the society which organized socialist and democratic elements for assistance on behalf of Jewish victims in WWI.  He played a major role in speech and writing in the movement for a Jewish Congress in America and was a delegate to it.  Together with B. Borokhov, A. Kritshmar-Izraeli, and others, he edited the organ Der idisher kongres (The Jewish congress) in 1916.  He also edited Hillel Zolotarov’s Geklibene shriftn (Selected writings) (New York, 1924), 234 pp.  From 1923 he was a member of the general executive of the Jewish National Labor Alliance.  Over the years 1936-1940, he edited the quarterly periodical and school journal, published by the central committee of the Jewish public schools of the Jewish National Labor Alliance and the Labor Zionists.  He was also a member of the central committee of the Labor Zionists.  Among his many pen names: E. J., Ben-Petuel, B. P. L., An Alt-Yunger, Eyner dun di Asore Batlonim, A Nervezer Yungermantshik, Ignatus, Shloyme Urbanski, Yente Shelavskaya, M. Halperin (or Haylperin), L. Minski, L. Iserovitsh, A Gast af a Vayl, and A Rayznder, among others.  In addition to the plays he translated, his publications in book form would include: Fun idishen kval, a yidish lehr-bukh un khrestomatye, tsveytes un drites yor far shul un hoyz (From Jewish springs, a Yiddish textbook and reader, second and third year for school and home), with Leyb Bassayn (Leon Bassein), including forty-three images and portraits (New York: M. N. Mayzel, 1916), 306 pp.; Fun folks moyl (From the mouth of the people), Yiddish stories for school and home, with explanations of difficult words and bibliographic notes for each story (New York: Hebrew Publ. Co., 1919), 201 pp.; Vos iz literatur (What is literature) (New York: Jewish National Labor Alliance, 1919), 63 pp.; Di zayln fun der nayer yidisher literatur, nayn lektsyes vegn mendele moykher-sforim, sholem-aleykhem un y. l. perets (The pillars of modern Yiddish literature, nine lectures on Mendele Moykher-Sforim, Sholem Aleichem, and Y. L. Perets) (New York: Jewish National Labor Alliance, 1923), 99 pp.; Yidishe poetn, hantbukh fun yidisher dikhtung (Yiddish poets, a handbook of Yiddish poetry), two parts, compiled with an introduction, assessment, annotations, and biographical-critical notes (New York: Jewish National Labor Alliance and Labor Zionist Party, 1927), part 1, 303 pp., part 2, 318 pp.; Yitskhok leybush perets, der shentster templ-zayl fun der nayer idisher literatur (Yitskhok Leybush Perets, the most beautiful temple pillar of modern Yiddish literature) (New York: Jewish National Labor Alliance, 1952), 64 pp.; Gezamlte shriftn (Collected writings), vol. 1: Idishe dertsiung (Jewish education), comp. Sh. Shapiro, preface by L. Rubinshteyn, bibliography by Y. Yeshurin (New York: Pinkhes Gingold Publ. with the National Committee for Jewish Public Schools, 1960), 378 pp.
            “He was a contemporary,” wrote A. Oyerbakh, “of those who pursued the Jewish Enlightenment tradition whose essence was education, to open for Jews the doors to the wide world.  In America the doors to the world were wide, but the world itself was narrow.  Entin sought in this world, the immigrant’s, his own path.  He was tied up and bound with his generation and he did not sever the ties to Enlightenment radicalism, but he turned his path to the people.  The difference between him and others lay in his ideals.  The most radical followers of the Enlightenment wanted to educate the common people so they could enhance themselves.  Entin wanted to education the people so they could return to themselves.  This small ideological difference still placed a wall between him and the majority of the immigrant intellectuals.  For a time Entin was effectively one among them, but he was unable to persevere for long with them, and he turned away from them and they from him.  When he founded the secular Jewish school, he gave it the name National Radical School.  The name…expressed Entin’s thinking, in that it possessed the same essence as Entin’s reasoning.  ‘Radical’ like all of his immigrant generation but with a distinctive twist, with an addition: ‘National.’”
            Entin “was part of every corner of [American] Jewish life,” noted Yankev Glatshteyn, “and did pioneering work everywhere.  To the [secular] Jewish school, he came, as they say, as a leader, a teacher, a director, and a textbook author.  It is no exaggeration to say that he was the first true ‘Lover of Zion’ in America, for whom Yiddish was not a means to a party’s goal, but a great matter in and of itself.  To Yiddish theater, he came as a teacher, a critic, educator of young Yiddish actors, and fighter for improving Yiddish theater.  Even before Bal-Makhshoves, he emerged as a literary critic without adducing any justifications for Yiddish literature.  He wanted pie in the sky.  Thus, when young Yiddish writers arrived, he became their mentor and guide.  Let’s also not forget that the Entin from the Yankev Gordin period in drama and Morris Winchevsky in poetry, as he was the support for the ‘young ones,” as they were then known.  The journal Di yugend (The youth) which appeared in 1907 published numerous critical and derisive pieces, but Yoyel Entin came to help the youngsters and blaze a path for them.
            “The golden epoch of Yiddish theater is linked to Entin.  Yankev Gordin and Leon Kobrin had in him their greatest and most convincing supporter.  He wrote about Yiddish theater with such seriousness that his reader began to look upon theater with a different pair of eyes.  He taught the Yiddish theater his festiveness, which was always a part of his enthusiasm.  For everyone, his busyness as a teacher and an educator, as a translator, a popularizer, and a critic, and as a person, he held that a Jewish intellectual ought not deceive himself that he must know everything, so that he can create around himself a more beautiful and greater Jewish intelligentsia and leadership.  He was permeated with the Zionist socialist idea, and he drafted every rigorous party publication and also every people-oriented deed.”
            “For almost his entire life,” observed Al. Shulman, “Yoyel Entin was a Labor Zionist.  His main interest, though, was Jewish education.  Entin believed that Yiddish and Yiddish literature must lie at the foundations of our education.  He naturally esteemed the role of Hebrew, and he believed that Yiddish and Hebrew should be taught in our secular school.  Although not religious, Entin wrote that one should familiarize Jewish children with the essence and character of the Jewish religion.  Entin believed that Yiddish should be taught because of Yiddish literature ‘which is the most intimate, the most magical mirror of Jewish life, which is the fullest, most speakable-singable well-spring of treasures, both in the past and even more the contemporary Jewish life-destiny.”

Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, comp., Leksikon fun der nayer yidisher literatur un prese (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish literature and the press), vol. 2 (Warsaw: Tsentral, 1914); Zalmen Zilbertsvayg, Leksikon fun yidishn teater (Handbook of the Yiddish theater), vol. 2 (New York, 1934); Zilbertsvayg, Di velt fun yankev gordin (The world of Yankev Gordin) (Tel Aviv, 1964); Y. Yeshurin, Yoyel entin biblyografye (Yoyel Entin bibliography), offprint from the volume Yoyel-entin gezamlte shriftn (Yoyel Entin, collected works) (New York, 1960); Yankev Glatshteyn, in Tog-morgn-zhurnal (New York) (October 1, 1961); Glatshteyn, Mit mayne fartog-bikher (With my daybreak books) (Tel Aviv, 1963); L. Shpizman, Geshtaltn (Images) (Buenos Aires, 1962); N. Mayzil, Tsurikblikn un perspektivn (Retrospectives and perspectives) (Tel Aviv: Perets Publ., 1962); L. Lehrer, in Idisher kemfer (New York) (January 31, 1963); D. Shub, in Forverts (New York) (May 17, 1964).
Leyb Vaserman