YANKEV PETERZEYL (1890-June 13, 1955)
He was born in Sventsyan (Svencionys), Lithuania. He attended religious elementary school and a Polish high school, and later at Lodz University he studied sociology and law. While still quite young, he joined the Labor Zionist party and helped to build the Borokhov youth movement. Together with Y. Rank, he published Fraye yugnt (Free youth). For a time he was secretary for the central committee of “Yugnt” (Youth). He contributed work to Lodzher arbeter (Lodz worker), and he was active on behalf of Jewish schools in Poland. In 1925 he made aliya to the land of Israel, where he was initially employed in construction work and paving highways. He later became a member of “Aḥdut haavoda, Poale Tsiyon” (Union of labor, Labor Zionists). He was editor of Nayvelt (New world) in Tel Aviv (1948-1950) and cultural attaché at the Israeli embassy in Warsaw. In 1950 he established an association there for the Hebrew University and a Poland-Israel Friendship Association. In book form he published: Erets-yisroel in tsveytn velt-krig (The land of Israel in WWII) (Tel Aviv: Naye kultur, 1941), 107 pp. Together with Y. Rank, he published four volumes in the series Yalkute poale tsiyon (Selections on Labor Zionism)—one volume appeared in Yiddish in Buenos Aires (1954)—and they were preparing several new ones. He edited a volume of articles by Rank and a book of articles by Y. Lev. He died in Jerusalem. Following his death, there was published under the editorship of Y. Zerubavl: Dos peterzeyl-bukh (The Peterzeyl volume) (Tel Aviv: Perets Publ., 1963), 386 pp.
Sources: P. L. Goldman, in Unzer veg (New York) (July 1955; August-September 1963); Maylekh Ravitsh, Mayn leksikon (My lexicon), vol. 3 (Montreal, 1958), p. 482; A. Verber, in Unzer veg (July-August 1962); Sh. Noy, in Unzer vort (Tel Aviv) (September 17, 1963); G. Kressel, in Davar (Tel Aviv) (October 18, 1963); M. Erem, in Unzer vort (July 8, 1965).