YISROEL-BER RIZBERG (b. March 5, 1858)
He was born in Rzhishtshev (Rzhyshchiv), Kiev district. He studied in religious elementary schools until age fifteen, later engaging in various trades. In his free time, he took up self-education. In 1892 he opened a “cheder metukan” (improved religious elementary school) in Pereyaslev, teaching in Hebrew. For a time he lived in Odessa, worked as a teacher (1914-1917) in the Pereyaslev commercial school, and later (until 1920) in the Jewish government school. In his last years he lived in Kiev. From childhood, he wrote poetry which was published in: Yudishes folksblat (Jewish people’s newspaper) in St. Petersburg (1887); Dos heylige land (The holy land) in Zhitomir (1891); Mortkhe Spektor’s Hoyz-fraynd (House friend)—in which, among other items, he published a long article entitled “Di melamdes frage” (The question of the teaching profession) V (1896)—and in a London-based “Ḥoveve-tsiyon” (Lovers of Zion) periodical (perhaps Folks-tsaytung [People’s newspaper]). He also placed several articles in Yud (Jew) and in New York newspapers. In Odessa he brought out a collection entitled: Amerika, argentina oder palestina (America, Argentina, or Palestine) (1891), 8 pp. Rizberg’s many poems were of a Zionist character, some of them sung by the populace. He also published Hebrew textbooks and several letter-writing manuals: Haor harishon liyeladim (The first light for children) (Odessa, 1916), 88 pp.; Olam hayeladim (The world of children) (Odessa, 1911); and Maarekhet mikhtavim (A set of letters) (Berdichev, 1897), 96 pp.; among others.
Source: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 4.