YISROEL RUBIN (June 12, 1890-February 24, 1954)
He was born in Radoshkevitsh (Radaškovičy), Vilna district. He adopted the name Rivkai. He studied in religious primary school, yeshiva, and public school. In his youth he was active in the Bund, later with the Zionist socialists and United (Fareynikte) socialists, later still with anarchism. He graduated from the pedagogical course of study in Grodno. During WWI he worked as a teacher in Minsk, later in Vilna and Warsaw. Over the years 1923-1926, he studied in the philosophy department at Warsaw University and received his doctoral degree for a dissertation on small children and adults. From 1926 he lived for several years in Berlin. In 1929 he settled in the land of Israel. There he worked as a teacher and the last ten years of his life as inspector of schools. He was utterly devoted to pedagogical work, theoretical and practical, to children’s psychology, as well as to ideological and philosophical issues. He published articles, essays, and research work concerning psychology, education, folklore, linguistics, literature, and socio-cultural topics in Russian, German, Hebrew, and mainly Yiddish publications: Shul un lebn (School and life) in Warsaw, and Naye shul (New school) and Shul un heym (School and home) in Vilna; in the party publications of the Fareynikte such as Der idisher arbeter (The Jewish worker) in Odessa, Der nayer veg (The new path), and Unzer vort (Our word); as well as Moment (Moment), Literarishe bleter (Literary leaves), Foroys (Onward), Folks-gezunt (People’s health), and Dos kind (The child) in Warsaw; Dos naye lebn (The new life) in Bialystok; Der frayer gedank (The free thought) in Paris; Frimorgn (Morning) in Riga; Di vokh (The week) in Bucharest; Yivo-bleter (Pages from YIVO), Yidishe shprakh (Yiddish language), Fraye arbeter shtime (Free voice of labor), Oyfkum (Arise), Di naye gezelshaft (The new society), Fraye shriftn (Free writings), and Bleter far yidisher dertsiung (Sheets for Jewish education) in New York; and Di goldene keyt (The golden chain), Bleter (Sheets) in 1936, Erets-yisroel shriftn (Writings from the land of Israel) in 1937, and Undzers (Ours) in 1949—in Tel Aviv; among others. He edited such one-off Tsisho (Central Jewish School Organization) publications as Di yidishe shul in bild un vort (The Jewish school in image and word), Y. l. Perets (Y. L. Perets), and the like; and he co-edited (1921-1923) Di naye shul (The new school) in Warsaw-Vilna, Shul un heym in Vilna, Laḥovits, sefer zikaron (Lyakhovichi, a remembrance volume) (Tel Aviv, 1948/1949), 395 pp.; and Radoshkevitsh (Radaškovičy) (Tel Aviv, 1952), 222 pp.
His book include: Farn kinderheym, lider (For the children’s home, poetry) (Odessa: Gebrider bletnitski, 1916), 35 pp.; Der katsen-meylekh (King of the cats) (Odessa: Blimelakh, 1918); M. b. ratner un der yidisher sotsyalizm (M. B. Ratner and Jewish socialism) (Vilna: Fareynikte, 1920); Der din-toyre mitn vint (The rabbinical lawsuit against the wind) (Bialystok: Kultur-lige, 1920); A din-toyre mit a klots, maysele (A rabbinical lawsuit with a [wooden] beam, a story) (Bialystok: Kultur-lige, 1920), 28 pp., second edition (1931), 32 pp.; Defektive kinder in der yidisher literatur (Handicapped children in Yiddish literature) (Vilna: Association of writers and journalists, 1920), 78 pp., later edition (1928); Tsvishn shriftshteler (Among authors), a children’s play (Vilna, 1922); Fun khezyeles tog bukh (From Kheziles’s diary), observations into the psychological development of a child (Warsaw: Kind, 1923), 78 pp.; Halt zikh glaykh, shmues mit shul-kinder (Bearing right up, chat with school children) (Berlin: Oze, 1925), 47 pp.; Kind un dervaksener, psikhologishe shtudye (Child and adult, psychological study) (Vilna: B. Kletskin, 1925), 242 pp.; Di mame un ir rol in dertsiung fun kind (The mother and her role in the education of a child) (Berlin: Kind, 1926), 24 pp.; Di tragedye fun ben-yokhed (The tragedy of an only son) (Berlin: Kind, 1926), 28 pp., later edition (1929); Untern tsarnyokh (Under the burden of anger) (Berlin: Viktorya, 1926); Ideal un elend, filozofish-psikhologishe batrakhtungen (Ideal and desolate, philosophical-psychological reflections) (Warsaw: Yatshkovski’s popular scientific library, 1926), later edition (Warsaw-New York, 1929), 160 pp.; Kindershpil als lebn-ernst (Children’s play as real life) (Berlin: Kind, 1927), 32 pp.; Der yunger mentsh un zayn antviklung fun vig biz tsum zelbstshtendikn lebn, ophandlungen vegn psikhologye un dertsiung (The young person from the crib until independent life, essays on psychology and education), 3 parts (Warsaw: Kh. Bzhoza, 1927), 115 pp.; Pestalotsi als filozof un pedagog, tsu zayn hundertstn yortsayt (februar 1817-februar 1927) ([Johann Heinrich] Pestalozzi as philosopher and pedagogue, on the 100th anniversary of his death, February 1827-February 1927) (Warsaw: Kultur-lige, 1928), 77 pp.; Geshikhte fun dertsiung (History of education), a supplement to Di naye tsayt (Warsaw, 1928); Fundanen ahin, retrospektsye-eseyen un zikhroynes (From there to here, retrospective essays and memoirs) (Tel Aviv, 1952), 208 pp. Along similar lines, he published two books in Russian, two in German, and eight in Hebrew such as: Mikhtavim lehorim (Letters to parents) (Tel Aviv, 1937); Miyomana shel em (From a mother’s diary) (Jerusalem, 1942), 170 pp.; Psikhologya ṿeḥinukh leor sifrutenu (Psychology and education in light of our literature) (Tel Aviv, 1947), 200 pp. His translations include: Fyodor Dostoevsky, Sheydim (Demons [original: Besy] [= The Possessed]) (Warsaw, 1929), 2 vols.; Jakob Wassermann, Dos kind fun eyrope, roman (The child from Europe, a novel [original: Casper Hauser oder Die Trägheit des Herzens: Roman (Casper Hauser or the inertia of the heart, a novel)]) (Lodz, 1929), 320 pp., second edition (Warsaw, 1930); Wassermann, Shklafn fun lebn (Slaves of life [original: Laudin und die Seinen]) (Warsaw, 1930), 474 pp. His pen names: Ben-Yekhezkl, Y. R., Khezin, Y. Ruveni, Ikh, Yisroel Rin, Shapse Tsiter, and Y. Rivkai. He died in Tel Aviv.
Sources: Zalmen, Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 4; Getzel Kressel, Leksikon hasifrut haivrit (Handbook of Hebrew literature), vol. 2 (Merḥavya, 1967); Meylekh Ravitsh, Mayn leksikon (My lexicon), vol. 3 (Montreal, 1958); R. Rubinshteyn, in Di goldene keyt (Tel Aviv) 15 (1953); Yankev Glatshteyn, in Idisher kemfer (New York) (February 19, 1954); Avrom Golomb, in Idisher kemfer (February 19, 1954); Avrom Liz, Heym un doyer, vegn shrayber un verk (Home and duration, on writers and work) (Tel Aviv: Y. L. Perets Library, 1960), pp. 309-12; Lis., ed., Dr. y. rubin-rivkai, opshatsungen un zikhroynes (Dr. Y. Rubin-Rivkai, evaluations and memoirs) (Tel Aviv, 1963); Yahadut lita (Jews of Lithuania), vol. 3 (Tel Aviv, 1967), p. 232.