Friday, 10 May 2019


YOYSEF RAVIN (November 11, 1890-1937)
            He was the author of textbooks and children’s books, born in the town of Germanovitsh, Vilna district.  He studied in religious elementary school.  In 1903 his family moved to Lodz.  He discontinued his studies of pharmacy and took up work for a Jewish public school.  He worked as a teacher for several years in a Lodz public school, later in Jewish schools of Minsk where he moved in 1922.  He was killed during the purges of 1937.  In 1916 he founded in Lodz his publishing house “Far unzer kleynvarg” (For our youngsters), and there (1917-1921) he published a series Ravins ilustrirte kinder-biblyotek (Ravin’s illustrated children’s library) of children’s plays in verse: Royt hitele (Little red cap), Vays shneyele (White snow), Berele un perele (Berele and Perele); children’s poetry, Far di kleyntshige, megiles ester (For the tiny ones, the Scroll of Esther); a picture book, Di kindervelt, mayselekh sheyne far kinderlekh kleyne (The world of children, beautiful tales for little children).  In Lazar Kahan’s publishing house, Friling leb (Beloved spring), for public schools (Lodz, 1918), 64 pp.; from A. Gitlin’s publishing house, Der koter in shtivl (The tomcat in boots), the children’s play in verse (1921), 38 pp.; and Farkishefte basmalke (The enchanted princess) (1922), 39 pp.  A series of booklets with stories: A keyt (A chain), Yapanishe folksmayselekh (Japanese folktales), Estraykhishe folksmayselekh (Austrian folktales), Mayselekh fun khayes un feyglvelt (Tales of animals and the world of birds), and Mayselekeh fun der gantser velt (Tales from the entire world), among others—all published in Warsaw.  From 1921 he published the originals and translated tales in verse in: Grinike beymelekh (Little green trees) and Lodzer folksblat (Lodz daily newspaper).  In Minsk he published: Pyeses far dramkrayzn (Plays for dramatic circles), part one (State Publ., 1925), 116 pp.; with H. Sagalovitsh, Matematik, ershter teyl, arbetbikhl farn III shulyor (Mathematics, part 1, workbook for the third school year) (State Publ., 1926), 185 pp. and Matematik, tsveyter teyl (Mathematics, part 2) (State Publ., 1928), 238 pp.; Mayselekh in ferzn (Tales in verse) (Central Publ., 1928), 40 pp.; with Sagalovitsh, Heft far matematishe arbetn (Copybook for mathematical work), part 1 (Minsk: State Publ., 1928, 1931), 45 pp., part 2 (Minsk: State Publ., 1929, 1930), 52 pp., part 3 (Minsk: State Publ., 1929, 1930); with M. Margoline and Sh. Ravin, Zay greyt, arbetbukh far 4tn lernyor (Get ready, workbook for the fourth school year) (Moscow-Minsk: Central Publ., 1930), 474 pp.; with V. Shats, Farn finfyor, arbet bukh af literatur (For year five, workbook for literature) (Moscow-Minsk: Central Publ., 1932); with V. Shats and Sh. Buz, Literatur, farn 3tn un 4tn shulyor (Literature, for the third and fourth school year) (Moscow-Minsk: Central Publ., 1933), 176 pp., over the years 1934-1937 there were five reprintings; He translated K. Klaus Neukrantz’s Barikadn in veding, a roman fun eyner a gas in di berliner may ṭeg 1929 (Barricades at the wedding, a novel from a Berlin street in May days 1929 [original: Barrikaden am Wedding]) (Minsk, 1933).  He died in the Soviet Union.

Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 4; Chone Shmeruk, comp., Pirsumim yehudiim babrit-hamoatsot, 1917-1961 (Jewish publications in the Soviet Union, 1917-1961) (Jerusalem, 1961), see index; Khayim-Shloyme Kazdan, in Bikher-velt (Warsaw) 2 (1922); Khayim Leyb Fuks, Lodzh shel mayle, dos yidishe gaystiḳe un derhoybene lodzh, 100 yor yidishe un oykh hebreishe literatur un kultur in lodzh un in di arumiḳe shtet un shtetlekh (Lodz on high, the Jewish spiritual and elevated Lodz, 100 years of Yiddish and also Hebrew literature and culture in Lodz and in the surrounding cities and towns) (Tel Aviv: Perets Publ., 1972), pp. 52, 202; Yeshurin archive, YIVO (New York).
Berl Cohen

[Additional information from: 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. 347-48.]

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